McComb farmer earns top award

COLUMBUS – Signature Pork, owned by Dennis, Jerry and Kenny Niese from McComb, has been named a 2009
Environmental Stewardship Award winner by the Ohio Livestock Coalition and the Ohio Pork Producers
Council.
The award annually recognizes the many accomplishments made by family farmers to protect the environment
and conserve natural resources.
Signature Pork follows a comprehensive nutrient management plan developed through the Putnam County Soil
and Water Conservation District office that has significantly decreased the need to purchase commercial
phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen fertilizers as well as micronutrients.
Deep-pit buildings hold manure up to 14 months, allowing Signature Pork to apply manure when weather and
soil conditions are the most favorable. Additives in the pit also help reduce fly populations and reduce
odors both throughout the year and during field application.
The Nieses utilize their nutrient rich, swine manure to optimize their crop production and to save on
commercial fertilizer application, and incorporate a number of conservative tillage practices to keep
soil disturbance to a minimum and improve water filtration. Tile plugs are also used when needed to
assure manure does not find its way through field tiles and into ditches and waterways.
"Dennis, Jerry and Kenny have incorporated various management practices that protect and enhance the
environment and precious natural resources while ensuring productivity and profitability," said
Ohio Livestock Executive Director Sandy Kuhn. "In doing so, they have minimized their operation’s
footprint on the environment by working to preserve and improve water and air quality, to protect the
land and to promote wildlife."
OLC coordinates the Environmental Stewardship awards program while seven cooperating member organizations
sponsor the individual commodity awards.