America's Next Pig Farmer

The four finalists for America’s Pig Farmer of the year were announced, and Pipestone was excited to see a familiar face in the line-up!  The National Pork Board created the America’s Pig Farmer of the Year award to recognize a farmer who excels in raising pigs using the We Care principles and who can effectively communicate their story to today’s consumers.

“The four finalists represent the diverse pork industry in the United States,” said National Pork Board President Derrick Sleezer, a farmer from Cherokee, Iowa. “They all have shown a focus on environmental sustainability, animal welfare and continuous improvement.”

america's next pig farmerThe 2015 finalists included:

  • Steve Kerns – Clearfield, Iowa
  • Marti Knoblock – Rock Rapids, Iowa
  • Keith Schoettmer – Tipton, Indiana
  • Lauren Schwab – Somerville, Ohio

Although we would hate to be one of the judges choosing from such an outstanding line-up, many Pipestone employees are rooting for one particular farmer – Marti Knoblock.

“Marti is an outstanding guy.  He’s always fun to work with and truly has a passion for pigs,” stated Dr. Spencer Wayne, Pipestone veterinarian for Marti Knobloch and GMC Farms.

When encouraged to apply Marti’s response was, “I don’t do anything special that should win me awards.  I just raise pigs the best I can with what God has given me.”  We love working with such humble people like Marti, but the truth is what Marti and many other farmers do on a daily basis is special!  Caring for your animals and providing a safe and nutritious protein source for the world – that’s something to be proud of.  Marti realized that applying for America’s Pig Farmer wasn’t about the award or getting his picture in the paper.  “I’m excited to be a finalist for this award,” Knoblock said.  “The possibility of connecting more with the public and how we raise pigs is something I look forward to doing.  It’s about telling today’s consumers about modern pig farming and how we care for our animals as we address their questions.”

To get your vote in before the poll closes Thursday, September 10th, go to and choose who you think should be America’s Next Pig Farmer.

Good luck to all the nominees!  The winner will be announced October 7th.