Blue Earth County
Describe your involvement in the pork industry.
I grew up on a diversified farm that included hogs, beef cattle, and crops. I came back to the family farm in 1992 and in 1993 we sold our sows and joined a cooperatively owned sow farm. Today, in addition to a cropping enterprise, we run a 2400 sow farrow-to-finish operation with on-farm milling.
Why do you want to serve on the MPPA Executive Board?
I have a deep-rooted interest in promoting and preserving Minnesota’s brand of pork production. I like to think that the next generation of producers will have the same or better opportunities than I had. To that end, I feel this is a great opportunity to shape the policies that plant the seeds for the ones who come next.
What is the greatest challenge/opportunity facing Minnesota pork and what is your role in addressing the opportunity/challenge?
The COVID-19 pandemic really opened my eyes to just how fragile our pork chain is. I know plenty of producers who lost plenty of sleep over not knowing where or when their next load of hogs was going to market. Not having a viable alternative to the ultra-concentrated packing industry is a great concern of mine.
What role does the Minnesota Pork Producers Association need to play in ensuring the success of Minnesota pig farmers?
Minnesota producers have a lot going for them; farmland that is suitable to take advantage of animal nutrients to grow abundant crops; they have an educated, competent workforce; they have access to adequate capital and leading-edge technology. They will compete on the global stage as well as any so long as they are not burdened with undue regulation, so long as they have free and unfettered access to markets and so long as they can practice their craft and pass on their legacy free from overbearing taxes. MPPA needs to be the collective voice that advances and defends the interests of Minnesota producers in the political arena.