Pork Association honors producers, industry members

Now Media Group


The Wisconsin Pork Association recently recognized producers and industry members for their dedicated service at the 2016 Pork and Corn/Soy Expo, held on Feb. 4-5 in Wisconsin Dells.

Producer Honoree Award

Each year, the Wisconsin Pork Association presents a Distinguished Service Award to an individual whose contributions to the Wisconsin swine industry merit special recognition. The WPA Producer Distinguished Service award was presented to Tom Knauer, Avalon.

Knauer, along with his wife Marge, started their swine operation in 1977.

Knauer has served on the WPA Board since 2010, following his retirement from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, where he worked in the animal health division for 33 years. He has also been active on the WPA Youth and Swine Health Committees, has attended the National Pork Industry Forum as a delegate, and has made several trips to Washington, D.C. to meet with legislators on behalf of the pork industry.

Kanuer has been an active member of the Rock County Pork and Beef Producers, and has served on the Rock County Fair Board. He also is involved in the Wisconsin Livestock Breeders Association, having served on their board and been presented their swine honoree award.

Industry Honoree Award

Dr. Onan, a professor and Chair of the Animal and Food Science Department at the University of Wisconsin River Falls, is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Industry Honoree Award.

The award honors industry representatives dedicated to promoting and serving the industry.

He is currently in Romania, after being awarded a Fulbright Scholars grant to Banat University of Agricultural Science and Veterinary Medicine. He will be spending the 2016 spring semester at Banat teaching two courses in animal production, collaborating with their faculty on redesigning courses and curriculum to make more effective use of hands-on laboratory exercises, and conducting a series of seminars for graduate students that focus on how to develop effective extension and outreach programming.

Onan has taught Swine Production at UW-River Falls, serves on the WPA Youth Committee, and has been involved in other youth focused activities such as swine project meetings, judging county fair swine shows, judging county fair pork carcass shows, and in recent years scanning hogs at county fairs for virtual carcass shows. He has also done some swine housing research at UWRF with a focus on the use of hoop structures for grow-finish and how growth, feed efficiency and carcass merit compare in hoop structures vs. typical finishers.

Agri-Communicator award

WPA acknowledges the efforts of individuals in the agriculture industry to communicate with others by presenting them with the Agri-Communicator award. The award was presented to Zen Miller, Outagamie County UW-Extension Dairy and Livestock Agent, and swine team leader.

Miller joined UW-Extension in 1996 in Outagamie County. In 2009, he joined the newly formed UW-Extension swine team to assist Wisconsin's pork producers. In 2012, he took over the role as Swine Team leader. As team leader, Miller has been engaged in a number of projects, including a swine team booth at Farm Technology Days, coordinating meetings with Wisconsin processors and producers, hosting an annual Badger Pork Day, and organizing a Bacon contest for 4-H youth in his county.

He has also served for a number of years as a Pork Quality Assurance Plus and Transport Quality Assurance trainer and advisor to farmers. He's attended World Pork Expo and the National Pork Board's Swine Educators Conference, bringing back valuable knowledge and resources to our state. As swine team leader, he also attends several of the WPA board meetings throughout the year.