Pig farmers networking at Illinois Pork Expo

Farmers networking at Illinois Pork Expo.

At the Illinois Pork Expo Jan. 29-30 in Springfield, delegates voted for the voluntary contribution to the Strategic Investment Program to increase from 10 cents per live hundredweight to 20 cents, effective July 1, 2021.

This resolution, at a time when export issues are front and center, was also passed by Iowa and South Dakota pork producers and now goes to the national meetings for consideration. Illinois added an amendment that it will include growing partners.

Pam Janssen, of Minonk, Illinois, was named the 2019 IPPA president. She has been on the board since 2010 and becomes the third woman to hold the title.

“I have big shoes to fill and am ready to fill them,” she said. The Janssen family has a 200-head farrow-to-finish pig farm in Woodford County, along with 200 head of feeder calves and 1,200 acres of corn, soybeans wheat and hay.

Disease issues and cultivating international markets are two areas of focus this year, said Janssen, whose granddaughter could be the seventh generation to farm in the family. She said building a legacy for the next generations is part of what motivates her.

The Lehmann Bros. Farm family of Livingston County accepted the title of Illinois Pork Producers Association Family of Year. Their farm, led by brothers Art and Ken Lehmann and based in Strawn, Ill., markets 120,000 hogs annually and works with 21 grower partners. They also farm 1,500 acres of corn and soybeans.

Among those congratulating the Lehmanns were fellow Livingston County pork producers and long-time friends of the Lehmanns, father and son Stanley and Kent Blunier.

“They are men of their word and always treat you well,” Kent said. The Lehmanns do a lot of volunteering and good for the community, he added.

“We raise pigs for the Lehmanns. We wouldn’t do that for just anybody,” Stanley said.

Jeff Galle, of Pittsfield, won the 2019 Distinguished Service Award for his work in the pork industry for more than 50 years. He has been involved in industry groups at the local, state and national level and is a professor emeritus from John Wood Community College where he started the swine confinement training program.

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Phyllis Coulter is Northern Illinois field editor, writing for Illinois Farmer Today, Iowa Farmer Today and Missouri Farmer Today.