Five pig caregivers are earning awards for their contributions to the industry, Zoetis announced Thursday.
The awards are part of the Honoring Caregivers program. The five recipients were selected from 250 nominations.
"We received outstanding nominations for this year's Honoring Caregivers awards. Each year, the nominees raise the bar," said Zoetis Director of U.S. Pork Technical Services, Mike Kuhn, DVM, MBA. "It's so rewarding to hear these great stories of people who are committed to the health and well-being of pigs. These honorees set examples for others who work with pigs and we're excited to honor them for their efforts."
The 2015 Honoring Caregivers award recipients are:
• Amilcar Duarte, a breeding production assistant at KMAX Paradise Pork in Austin, Minn., often visits the barn in the evenings during extreme temperatures to make sure all the pigs are comfortable.
• John Finn, a site manager for a farrow-to-wean unit at HC Feeders Inc. in New Hampton, Iowa, has led a 50% reduction in employee turnover. Finn believes proper animal handling is one of the keys to raising healthy pigs.
• Marian Lehman, a contract grower of finishing pigs for Country View Family Farms in Bloomsburg, Pa., makes raising pigs a family affair with the help of her husband and two daughters. Her biosecurity protocols are closely followed to minimize disease and prevent pigs from getting sick
• Tim Morgan, a sow farm manager with AMVC in Audubon, Iowa, feels that approaching pig care on an individual basis is key to ensuring sick pigs are treated with the right product at the right time.
• Dan Reetzke, a farm manager for PIC USA, Inc. in Kentucky, manages three separate sites: farrow-to-finish, nursery and finishing. Along with veterinarians and his additional caregivers, Reetzke has been working attentively to eliminate Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae from the herd.
The five award recipients will be honored during a special reception at Zoetis headquarters in Florham Park, New Jersey, this month. Each honoree also will receive a $1,000 cash prize.
A panel of judges evaluated the nominees on:
• Proper treatment – commitment to the responsible use of antibiotics to protect both animal and human health
• Proper disease prevention – commitment to maintaining proper biosecurity, hygiene and vaccination protocols to prevent disease
• Proper pig handling – commitment to proper pig handling techniques to ensure pig well-being
"With a record number of nominations, the selection panel was very impressed with these five individuals," Kuhn said. "The recipients go above and beyond when it comes to pig care, and it's an honor to recognize them for their commitment to excellence."
For more information on the Honoring Caregivers award including the official contest rules, visit zoetisUS.com/honoringcaregivers.