Pork producers have a long-standing record of conscientious environmental stewardship. Each year, National Hog Farmer magazine and Pork Checkoff join forces to recognize four of the top environmental management programs in the U.S. pork industry.

Now in its 17th year, the Environmental Stewards of the Pork Industry program recognizes producers and managers who exemplify outstanding manure nutrient management, air and water quality management, wildlife preservation, and positive community relations.

Nominations are open to pork production operations of all types and sizes. Since 1995, award winners have represented family-owned-and-operated farms, contract producers, and management teams working within an integrated production system.

In addition, the recognition program has fostered a greater public awareness and appreciation for pork producers’ commitment to manage their hog operations in harmony with nature and the greater community. Likewise, the program has reinforced to the general news media and the nation’s policymakers that pork producers are committed to protecting the environment and our valuable natural resources.

Pork producers can apply or be nominated for this award by state pork producer groups, Extension agents, swine veterinarians or other industry-related professionals. A nomination must focus on a single production site, outlining the owner’s and/or manager’s diligence and expertise in applying their environmental management program.

Nominations for the class of 2011 Environmental Stewards of the Pork Industry must be postmarked by March 31, 2011. A national committee comprised of pork producers and various pork industry and natural resource organizations will review all nominations and select four for national recognition.

Each farm selected for this award will be featured in a special report published in the Sept. 15, 2011 issue of National Hog Farmer. Winners will also be recognized during Pork Industry Forum held in March the following year.

Additional information and an easy-to-use nomination form is available at http://www.pork.org/programs/60/EnvironmentalStewards.aspx or call the National Pork Board toll free at (800) 456-7675. To review video clips of past Environmental Steward award recipients, go to http://nationalhogfarmer.com/video/environmental-stewards/.