Saturday, March 2, 2013

Passion for their Pigs....

The smell of hogs?


The smell of success.

Last week the Minnesota State FFA Officer Team had the privilege to travel to Christensen Family Farms in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. While there we saw demonstration of  many of the key principles FFA members learn. We realized the results of hard work. We saw evidence of the care farmers take with their livestock, and finally we saw how Christensen Family Farms gives back to their community and Minnesotan agriculture.

Bob Christensen founded Christensen Family Farms in 1974 with two sows for 4-H and later FFA. When he graduated high school six years later he had expanded to a 140 farrow-finish sow farm. Today the business is the largest family-owned hog farm in the United States with the capacity to feed twelve million people a year. Bob Christensen certainly believed "that to live and work on a good farm, is pleasant as well as challenging". Aspiring to improve, to be innovative, and to take care of their environment is something Christensen Farms does every day.

Along with the effort the family has poured into their work, we had the opportunity to see how Christensen Farms- like so many farmers across the country- care for their livestock. Though they have large farms, they manage to care for each pig individually and work to protect them from disease through providing a climate that is conducive to growth. One farm goes as far as filtering all the air that comes through the barn to prevent contaminants from reaching the animals.

Christensen Farms gives back to their community through support of 4-H and FFA literacy efforts. They have invested in education efforts such as the CHS Miracle of Birth Center and Christensen Farms Stage at the Minnesota State Fair and and the Animal Learning Center at the Iowa State Fair. They add value to rural communities economies while producing a high quality product.

From its humble origin in 1974, to the world-leader it is today, Christensen Farms provides an example of hard work, animal care, and community investment that we can all look up to.

From the Emblem of Washington-
Dare to Do,
Nathan Daninger

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