Minnesota pork producer Bob Christensen was among a trio honored recently by the University of Minnesota with the prestigious Siehl Prize for Excellence in Agriculture.

The prize is presented annually by the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.

Christensen, this year’s recipient in production agriculture, founded Christensen Farms in 1974 with his brother and a handful of hogs. The family business has grown significantly and today it employs 1,200 people, contracts with more than 450 family farmers and produces enough pork each day to feed 14 million people.

The Siehl Prize was created in the early 1990s by New Ulm-area livestock breeder and businessman Eldon Siehl, who had a lifelong interest in agricultural systems.

Siehl’s award was aimed at ensuring that achievements in agriculture would be recognized and celebrated.

Recipients receive a $50,000 award, sculpture and lapel pin designed by Minnesota artist Thomas Rose especially for the Siehl Prize.