Pay it Forward with Pork: The Story of the Howard Family

Apr 15, 2022
The Howard family of Logansport, Indiana exemplifies the verse, To whom much is given much is expected (Luke 12:48). The Howards are contract swine growers for Co-Alliance and while animal husbandry and herd health are at the top of their daily to-do lists, they also ensure giving back to others is a top priority.

Through service to their Cass County community, and representing Indiana Pork in a variety of ways, Dave, Tony and Mike of Howard Swine Farm are trailblazers in terms of impact and community support through production agriculture. 

In March 2019 they built a solar farm on their land to help reduce energy cost and be more energy independent. The panels produce enough to cut their energy bill in half! That's a big deal when you think of all the electric it takes to run a swine operation. The panels allow less energy to be used from local utility company, which benefits both the Howard’s and the environment. 

The angle of the solar panels are adjustable and they adjust them with the seasons to maximize sunlight . As technology advances they’d like to get batteries that the solar panels can charge using the excess energy. Then those batteries would be used to power the barns during the night hours. This investment would make the Howard farm completely energy independent.

Howards get monthly updates on how much energy they use and whatever is not utilized by the barns is used by their local utility company; absolutely nothing goes to waste. 

Their continued efforts to always do the right thing, whether in production practices or raising the fourth generation on the farm, were recently recognized as they were named 2021 Indiana Pork Contract Grower of the Year.

The family learned early that diversifying their operation would allow for continuous generations to return to the farm and today their “Why” lies in making sound choices to ensure that succession continues.

What the Howards won't talk about is the never-ending commitment they have to this swine investment and the family farm. You'll never hear them speak of the nights they get up every hour when it is storming to go check on the babies to ensure they are safe. The Howards won't tell you about  how they never stop doing chores even when battling pneumonia. Or about the countless times they've stayed up all night to load out hogs in the freezing cold or the heat of summer. This hog farming gig isn’t for the weak.

But it is for the Howards. 
We're are so grateful for the Howard family, the dedication they have to American Agriculture and the partnership they've built with Co-Alliance.

If you take an interest in creative ways to involve the next generation on the farm and in supporting rural communities to serve the common good, you don’t want to miss this episode.


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