Chris Hoffman, a pig farmer from McAlisterville, Pennsylvania, is America’s Pig Farmer of the Year for 2019-2020, after netting the highest combined score in third-party judging and online voting. The award recognizes the pig farmers in the U.S. that exemplify industry leadership, a demonstrated focus in raising pigs following the We Care ethical principles and a commitment to connecting consumers with the farmers who raise the pork they consume.
“Chris is both a strong advocate for our industry as well as the embodiment of a responsible, progressive producer,” said National Pork Board President David Newman. “He will do a great job in leading pig farmers as we all work to demonstrate to our consumers that we aspire to ethically raise the safest, most wholesome protein supply in the world.”
Though he originally aspired to work in law enforcement, Hoffman found himself in the business of raising pigs and discovered it to be his ideal career. He’s faced challenges unique to being a first-generation pig farmer, but with a progressive yet realistic philosophy, he’s been able to gradually grow and evolve his Lazy Hog Farm to integrate the next generation and secure a bright future.
“For me, it’s been slow and steady, and we’ve evolved over a period of time,” Hoffman said. “When my son comes in a few years from now, he will hopefully have a lot of opportunities to think outside the box and try new things.”
Hoffman was named America’s Pig Farmer of the Year after an on-farm audit of animal health, safety and management practices, a series of personal interviews and an online vote. Since being named to the position, Hoffman said he’s excited to lead discussions with consumers and food retailers in order to help promote pig farming and demonstrate farmers’ commitment to always doing the right thing for their animals, the environment and the families who consume their product.
“While I’ll begin the year by discussing our business with consumers and food retailers, my ultimate goal is to appear on regional and national television and radio programs to talk about how we raise pigs in this country. I want to meet with our nation’s leaders, including the president, and show them that we are an integral part of our food supply and the nation’s workforce,” Hoffman said. “Farmers do a great job at raising pigs the right way, and now it’s my turn to help show the rest of the country how passionate we are about what we do and whom we do it for.”
The panel of expert judges who met with finalists in August, were Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane; Jayson Lusk, department head and distinguished professor, Agricultural Economics, Purdue University; Kari Underly, a third-generation butcher, author and principal of Range, Inc., a meat marketing and education firm; Jessie Kreke, senior marketing manager, Culver’s Franchising System; and Patrick Bane, the 2018 America’s Pig Farmer of the Year.