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Pork Producers - Masters

Pork Producers - Masters

South Dakota Master Pork Producers Recognized


South Dakota Ag Connection - February 14, 2018

DELL RAPIDS, S.D. - Bruce Burkhart, Dell Rapids, was named a 2017 South Dakota Master Pork Producer and is one of three South Dakota pork producers recognized during the S.D. Master Pork Producer banquet held in Sioux Falls.

The S.D. Master Pork Producers is a volunteer organization comprised of allied industry members who have the goals of recognizing outstanding pork producers and promoting pork production in South Dakota. The other South Dakota honorees include: S.D. Master Pork Producers, Lenny Wipf, Lakeview Colony, Lake Andes and Dan Rodas, Spencer and Honorary Master Pork Producer, Jeri Westra, Smithfield, Lennox.

More about Bruce Burkhart 2017 South Dakota Master Pork Producer

Burkhart originally started with a farrow-to-finish operation, and in 1998 built a 2,000-head, naturally ventilated finishing barn.

It took seven meetings with Minnehaha County officials before being approved, but Burkhart approached the situation as a teaching opportunity to educate local officials on modern pork production. His efforts proved successful, because when he applied for a permit in 2008 to build a second 2,000-head mechanically ventilated finishing barn, it was approved the first meeting.

Burkhart later switched to strictly finishing pigs so he could to do a better job managing pigs and other enterprises. In 2012 he joined the Pipestone System.

Today, he markets 8,000 pigs annually. The feed comes from the Edgerton feed mill. Burkhart utilizes split-sex feeding and hot water heat from a wood-burning furnace to keep his pigs warm.

He believes that continual preventative maintenance and paying attention to details EVERY day is what makes them successful. In 2017, the pigs in his barns had a 1.58 pound average daily gain, a 2.53 feed efficiency, and a 4.79 percent wean-to-finish mortality.

Along with sons Jase (full time) and Brandon (part time), long time employee, Lenny Stahl, helps make a successful team. Kim Morgan and Mike Vanden Bosch from Pipestone System are Burkhart's main resources.

Burkhart is also an environmental steward. He applies all the manure from the finishing barns on his own crop ground. When soil phosphorus levels were getting high on his ground close to the place, he trucked the manure 5 miles away to another set of fields to make sure they were utilizing the manure in an environmentally sustainable way. He also plants trees for odor control.

Not only is Burkhart an excellent pork producer, but in 2016 he was recognized by Ag United for South Dakota with the AgVocate of the Year award for his work on educating policy makers and the general public on what a modern family farm looks like through the Adopt A Farmer program and testifying at local hearings.

For more information regarding pork production in South Dakota, please contact Bob Thaler, Professor and SDSU Extension Swine Specialist or Ryan Samuel, Assistant Professor and SDSU Extension Swine Specialist.



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