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Pingel, Wesslings honored at Congress

From news reports

Date Modified: 02/06/2014 12:12 PM

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DES MOINES — The Iowa Pork Producers Association presented awards and crowned new pork royalty at last week's Iowa Pork Congress.

Paul Pingel, of Aurelia, is the Pork All-American Award winner. He, his brother, Wayne, and father, Myron, have a wean-to-finish operation with annual swine production capacity of 17,000. The Pingels also grow crops and have a feedlot, feeding out 850 calves each year.

Bruce and Jenny Wessling, of Grand Junction, won the 2013 Iowa Environmental Steward Award. They received the award, a trophy and $1,000 cash.

The diversified Wessling Ag family farm includes their daughters, Jolee and Taylor, and Bruce's parents, Roger and Judy.

The Wesslings finish nearly 19,000 hogs at two sites each year under contact with Cargill Pork. Bruce is the day-to-day operator of the feeder-to-finish business and the family farm while Jenny serves as the business manager for Wessling Ag. The family also farms 4,600 acres.

Matt Rohrig, of Orient, won the Master Seedstock Award from the Iowa Purebed Swine Council. Rohrig is a full-time salesman for Hog Slat, building and servicing swine production units in Iowa and Nebraska, but he also raises show pigs for youth exhibitions and purebred Yorkshire development. He's been raising purebred Yorkshires for 12 years and has 60 purebred Yorkshire and crossbred sows.

Rodger Main, director of operations and associate professor at the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory, and farmer and retired state representative Delores Mertz were named Honorary Master Pork Producers.

The 2014 Iowa Pork Queen is Sarah Wall, of Iowa City in Johnson County. Katlyn Kahler, of Cambridge in Story County, is the new Iowa Pork Princess. Matt Kerns, of Clearfield in Taylor County, is the new Iowa Pork Youth Ambassador.

The Iowa Pork Producers Association also recognized its 2013 class of Master Pork Producers.

The 12 hog farmers were selected by their peers for excellence in pork production.

The award winners were recognized for their expertise in their segments of the production cycle and understanding of current industry issues, quality assurance, animal identification and well-being and their production efficiency.

The 2013 Master Pork Producers are:

Lance Bell and Clint McAfee, Leon, Decatur County; Jim and Deb Hinkeldey, Alta, Buena Vista County; Dennis Hosek, Clutier, Tama County; Mike Hotopp, State Center, Marshall County; Randy and Mary Kay Kent, Lake City, Calhoun County; Ryan Reed, Ottumwa, Wapello County; Steve, Jeff, Kevin and Trent Rehder and Tim Schmidt, Hawarden, Sioux County; Matt and Angie Schnepf, Le Mars, Plymouth County; Dr. Cameron Schmitt, Independence, Buchanan County; Tom Wall, Iowa City, Johnson County; Todd and Mary Kay Wegener, Fenton, Palo Alto County; and David and Becky Willie, Manchester, Delaware County.

The Iowa Pork Producers Association and Iowa State University co-sponsor the Master Pork Producer program.