Grower Spotlight: Matt & Karen Moeller

Matt Moeller and his wife, Karen, are integral members of the South Dakota hog farming community. A farmer from birth, Matt grew up with pigs on the family farm, and often worked with his father and uncle caring for the livestock.

Today, Matt raises wean-to-finish hogs, without antibiotics, for Smithfield Foods. His farm has 11,000 spaces that house nearly 25,000 pigs annually. While he currently has a full-time helper, he and his wife are often in the barns doing chores, administering vaccinations, or moving pigs.

In 1998, Matt began farming hogs on a larger scale, raising feeder to finish pigs. In 2008, he enlarged his operation, and added new barns outfitted with the VentraPro controllers. The controller’s features and performance, combined with a great manufacturer and installation support system, convinced him to retrofit his older barns. In 2016, Matt converted his feeder to finish operation to wean to finish, and updated the older barns to the VentraPro. “The technology is there, the service is good, and I’d recommend it to anyone.”

Matt is more than just a hog farmer, he’s an advocate for hog producers all over South Dakota. For six years he served on the Board of the South Dakota Pork Producer’s Council and, for most of that time, was the Chairman of the Demand Enhancement Committee, a role that required him to promote pork at events large and small. He’s cooked pork at events like Daytona with the National Pork Board and teamed up with a local radio station in Rapid City for their Hog Wild event – at the end of which there is a drawing for a whole hog and other goodies.

During his tenure with the SDPPC, Matt helped to influence public policy regarding hog farming and the pork industry in general. He attended the Pork Leadership Institute, sponsored by the National Pork Producer’s Council, to learn how to advocate for the pork industry to legislators. Using what he learned, Matt has testified on bills and proposals in Pierre, South Dakota’s Capitol.

As an avid philanthropist, he’s always finding ways to give back to his community through pork. He has volunteered his time cooking pork at many local events, such as Hot Harley Nights, a family-friendly motorcycle parade in Sioux Falls, SD, that raises money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. When the Shrine Circus is in town he helps to keep the show running smoothly, carrying ice, making snow cones, and helping in any way he can.

“I love what I do. I walk outside every day and I’m on vacation.”

 

 

 

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