Accolades awarded for involvement in Ohio pork industry


COLUMBUS – The Ohio Pork Producers Council honored Dean Smith of J.H. Routh Packing Company with its Pork Industry Service Award. The honor was presented at the 2007 Ohio Pork Congress held in Columbus.
Smith, the head of procurement for the J.H. Routh Packing Company in Sandusky, was saluted for his contributions in the areas of marketing, youth programs and pork improvement.
Youth programs. He has spent much time involving himself in youth programs, such as hosting Ohio Pork Producer Council’s Swine Youth Institute; judging county fair swine shows; serving on the Sandusky County Swine Fair Committee; and hosting the Ohio State University meat team judging workouts at Routh Packing.
He has also worked with the National Swine Registry and conducted cut tests on meat quality.
Smith was recently elected to serve as the associate member director on the Ohio Pork Producers Council Board.
Manager award. Matt Davis of Bucyrus received the Ohio Pork Producers Council’s Manager of the Year Award.
This award recognizes swine managers for an outstanding production program and leadership in swine and community organizations.
In 1995, Davis began working for Hord Livestock Company in Bucyrus on a 400-head sow farm.
In 2001 he became the production manager for the swine division of Hord Livestock Company, which is a farrow-to-finish operation with approximately 11,000 sows.
He is a member of the Ohio Pork Producers Council and serves on the board of directors.
He has been a past presenter at the Ohio Pork Congress and also had an article in the National Hog Farmer magazine about the Hord Livestock Company training program.
Enduring excellence. Merle and Catherine Hunker of Seneca County were the recipients of the Pork Industry Excellence Award.
The Hunkers’ commitment to agriculture and the pork industry have been strong for many years. In 1945, they married and started farming together on Walnut Ridge Farm.
The century farm was founded in 1887 by Merle’s grandparents. Merle showed animals at the Seneca County Fair for 50 consecutive years, and his farm bred numerous champions over the years.
Service. The Hunkers also share a commitment to youth, serving as 4-H advisers and establishing the Seneca County Junior Fair Foundation in 1971.
Merle has served as a director of the County Farm Bureau, officer of Old Fort Grange, and spent 27 years on the Seneca County Soil Conservation District Board.
Catherine was equally active as a member of the Seneca County Pork Council Women and later serving 12 years on the Seneca County Fair Board and 8 years as fair secretary.


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