Maple Park—The Gerald and Nancy Hartmann family of Maple Park was recently recognized by the Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) as the 2014 Illinois Pork Producer Family of the Year at the Illinois Pork Expo in Peoria.
The award recognizes a pork producer family who has done an outstanding job in promoting pork and has exemplified leadership skills at the county, state and national levels. The award is sponsored by Elanco Animal Health and Rantoul Foods.
Gerald & Nancy have three children—Jeff, Doug and Andrea—and six grandchildren. Jeff is married to Sari and they have two children – Noel and Brice. Noel is married to Mike Fabian. Doug and Cathy’s family consists of their son Dan, his wife Ashley, their daughter Holly and her husband Logan Sellers. Andrea Thurwangler has two children, Christian and Rachel.
“The Hartmann Family is an excellent example of the We Care principles for their care of their animals, the environment, their community, and their family,” said Todd Dail, pork producer from Erie, Ill. and current IPPA President. “Like many successful family businesses, the Hartmanns have had to adapt their farm to changing market conditions to remain efficient and viable, while being good stewards of the land and a valuable member of their community.”
The Hartmann family has been an integral part of pork production in DeKalb County for more than 60 years and has shown continued dedication and commitment to the pork industry. Through the years, they have strived to adapt to change and grow their business, while being good stewards of the land and a valuable member of their community. They have accomplished this by working closely together as a family with many members playing an important role in their continued success.
The Hartmanns have a rich family heritage in farming and pork production. Gerald started raising hogs at 12 years old on his family’s dairy farm. After graduating from Iowa State University, he returned home and expanded his pork production. In 1962 Gerald and Nancy started raising hogs on their own until they were joined by their sons Jeff and Doug.
In 1985, after their sons graduated from college and returned to the area near the family farm, Gerald and Nancy incorporated their hog farm. Nancy was key to the operation by managing the bookkeeping from 1962 to 2001, when their daughter Andrea joined the family farming operation as the bookkeeper. Upon graduating from college, Gerald and Nancy’s grandson Dan joined Hartmann Farms Inc.
The Hartmanns are the true definition of a modern family farm and have worked in multiple facets of pork production. Their main farm is a 60-sow farrow-to-finish facility. They also raise weaned pigs on a second farm. The Hartmanns own 270 sows in a sow center in which bi-monthly they get 1,000 weaned pigs. In total, they market 20,000 hogs a year. Hartmann Farms employs a farrowing, breeding, and finisher manager to care for all the different stages of the operation. They also farm 5,800 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat, and employ two truck drivers to haul all the grain and to help with field work.
Many members of the Hartmann family are involved in the farm. Gerald serves in a consulting capacity and works on budget and taxes. Jeff has responsibilities for transportation and maintenance and serves as the crop specialist. Doug serves as the general manager of the farm. Dan is responsible for wean to finish, nutrition and feed. Andrea handles the bookkeeping and payroll and records. All family members have pitched in to help when needed over the years.
Like many good pork producing families, the Hartmanns have always been active in promoting pork and the pork industry. Gerald was instrumental in the formation of the DeKalb pork producer group and persuaded neighboring hog producers to join in the voluntary check-off program. Another organization founded because of his dedication to farming is the DKM COOP, a farm input purchasing coop, which is part of Midwest COOP.
Being involved in the DeKalb Area Pork Producers is a family tradition for the Hartmanns. Their family has been active in the county group for 48 years with many family members serving in numerous leadership roles. Gerald served on the board from 1966 to 1968. Nancy served on the DeKalb Area Porkettes from 1980 to 1982. Jeff served as secretary and was on the board from 1985 to 1990. Sari served on the DeKalb Area Pork Producer Board from 1995 to 1998 and was involved in the DeKalb Area Porkettes from 1983 to 1987 serving as vice president. She was also president of the DeKalb Area Association of Women in 1986 and was the DeKalb County Pork Queen in 1980. Doug was on the DeKalb Area Pork Producer Board from 1991 to 1997 serving as treasurer, vice president and membership chairman. Dan is currently on the board and has served as vice president and is currently president of the county group. Andrea is also currently serving on the board and has served as secretary. Holly and Christian have served as county pork ambassador.
Over the years, the Hartmanns have cooked more than their fair share of pork chops. Family members have been active in many of the county group activities, including the Salvation Army Ham donation, numerous cooking demonstrations, Pork King Cook-off Contest, Farm Bureau Family Fun Day, NIU Ag Day, Harvest lunches, DeKalb 4-H Foundation Pork Chop Drive Thru, and the pork promotion at DeKalb High School football games.
Family members have also been involved at the state level. Doug has volunteered at the Western Open Golf Tournament pork chop tent and served as an IPPA State Delegate. Dan volunteered at a “Da Burger” event, promoting ground pork to Bears fans, and has served as an IPPA State Delegate. Holly has volunteered in the IPPA Birthing Center during the Illinois State Fair.
Giving back to the community and agricultural industry has always been a trademark of this family. Church, school and local civic organizations have all been blessed with the Hartmanns dedication of their time and talents. Members of the Hartmann family have served on school boards, Fire Department Board, township trustee, Snowmobile Club Board, Sycamore Jr. Farmers Board, Ag and FFA advisory Board, PTO, Farm Bureau Board, Corn and Soybean Growers Board, 4-H Blue Ribbon Sale Board, Sports Boosters, Ohio Grove Grange and many others. They have also been volunteers at school, Ag in the Classroom, church, 4-H, FFA, county and state fair activities, softball and soccer coaching staffs, and two mission trips to Haiti.
The Hartmanns have donated hogs to support numerous community activities including: Navy Seal Foundation Fund Raiser, Neighborhood Picnic, Maple Park Legion Labor Day event, Maple Park Fire Department pancake breakfast, The Ev. Church of St. John pancake breakfast, local restaurant “Bacon-Pa-Looza” event and “Support our Superhero Dylan” cancer fundraiser.
Family members have received numerous awards for their achievements. Gerald received the Superior Pork Award and was also awarded the Master Farmer in 1993. Doug received the Pork All-American Wward. Sari was the first runner-up for the Illinois State Pork Industry Queen and received the Elanco’s Belleringer Award and Pig Pushin’ Award. Dan and Holly both won the Illinois State Fair Superior Young Producer Pork Award. The family won the Illinois Conservation Farm Family award presented by the Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation.
“The Hartmann family is dedicated and committed to a life long journey of success in the pork industry,” Dail said. “As a close farming family, they not only work together to create a strong business, but deeply and sincerely care about pork production and the community in which they live.”