SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The South Dakota Pork Producers Council recognized Dr. Bob Thaler with the Friends of the Industry Award during the Master Pork Producers Banquet on Wednesday, January 11, 2017.
The Friends of the Industry Award recognizes state individuals, leaders or businesses for their continued support of the pork industry. The recipient will be given a certificate, plaque and a check for their outstanding involvement and service to the pork industry.
Bob grew up on a diversified farm by Wagner, SD. He got his BS (1982) and MS (1984) degrees from SDSU, and his PhD in Swine Nutrition from Kansas State University in 1988. On November 1, 1988 he returned to SDSU and has served as Extension Swine Specialist for the last 28 years. Bob always had a passion for livestock, and it was focused on swine by his MS advisor, Dr. Rick Wahlstrom.
Bob has been married to his best friend Karen for 30 years, and she is a 7th grade English teacher at Mickelson Middle School in Brookings. They are blessed with 3 children & the world’s most beautiful granddaughter: Allyse Steffen (husband Mike & daughter Charleigh), Sarah Holt (husband Dustin), and Noah. Allyse is employed by Paulsen Marketing in Sioux Falls and works with a variety of ag clients. Sarah works with adults with disabilities at New Horizons in Watertown and also helps out on their family farm by Summit. Noah works for Ag Property Solutions in Emmetsburg, IA, designing swine barns.
Bob believes involvement in community, church, and civic groups is important in addition to supporting the industry he loves. He has served as Elder and Deacon at Faith Reformed Church, has been active in the Brookings Masonic Lodge, and serves on the South Dakota Pork Producers Council Executive Board, the SD Master Pork Producers Council, the National Pork Board’s Swine Educators Executive Committee, and chair of the SD Ag & Rural Leadership Foundation’s Fundraising Committee. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting, golf, wood working, and being with family.
The South Dakota Pork Producers Council (SDPPC) was created in 1954 to responsibly serve, support and enhance the success of the South Dakota pork production industry. Along with managing industry issues and improving the image of the pork industry, the South Dakota Pork Producers Council works to insure a safe, wholesome product for the consumer’s confident consumption.
South Dakota’s pork producers have 170,000 sows and they produce 339,000 farrowings per year. South Dakota is ranked #11 in pork production and ranks #2 in pigs per sow. South Dakota ranks 9th nationally in number of pigs born in the state. South Dakota’s pork industry contributes $2.1 billion overall economic impact of SD’s Swine Industry. Also, South Dakota pork industry contributes $17.4 million in total tax revenue.
— South Dakota Pork Producers Council
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