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Colorado Hog Producers Recognized As 2017 Gold Award Winners

Photo Caption: Mountain Prairie Farms, LLC employees received the Gold Level Environmental Leadership Award. (From the Left) Robert Lovato-Farm Manager, Cristian Lopez- Farm Manager, John Lofdahl- Production Manager, Rick Ochoa- Maintenance Manager, Marguerite Tan- Environmental Engineer Lynette Myers, CDPHE Environmental Leadership Program, Kep Proctor- Support Services Manager, Justin Gallegos- Head of Department and Tracy Osborn- H.R. Manager

Colorado Livestock Association members, Mountain Prairie Farms (Las Animas) and Smithfield Hog Production (Yuma), were recognized as Gold Leaders along with 165 companies for their outstanding environmental achievements that help keep Colorado a desirable place to work and live. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, in partnership with the Pollution Prevention Advisory Board and the Colorado Environmental Partnership, presented the 18th annual Environmental Leadership Awards at the Infinity Event Center in Glendale in October. The awards recognize Colorado organizations with gold, silver and bronze designations for voluntarily going beyond compliance with state and federal regulations and for their commitment to continual environmental improvement. This year’s program recognized 21 new Gold Leaders, which join 90 other companies and organizations already designated as Gold Leaders. There currently are 37 companies designated as Silver Partners and 21 companies designated as Bronze Achievers.

Julie McCaleb (Left) and Andrea Anderson (Right) accept the Gold Leader award on behalf of Smithfield Hog Production presented by CDPHE Environmental Leadership Program manager Lynette Myers (Middle).

“We are proud to recognize all of Colorado’s environmental leaders and work with them to reduce barriers to innovation while protecting public health and the environment,” said department Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Larry Wolk.

“We are honored to receive the Gold Award from the Environmental Leadership Program.  We are committed to taking care of the environment and preserving precious resources, and this award is a testament of our efforts,” states John Lofdahl, Mountain Prairie’s production manager. To qualify, Mountain Prairie, LLC, in Las Animas, recycled over 560,000,000 gallons of water treated from the effluent impoundments for barn washing/flushing, savings equivalent to water use from 4700 single family homes for one year. Additionally, the spent swamp cooler pads (cardboard) are utilized as a supplemental carbon source for composting, reducing landfill waste, and reducing the quantity of wood shavings used in the composting process.

“We learned about the Environmental Leadership Program several years ago and it has been a goal of Smithfield for us to participate in this program. Smithfield has set Environmental responsibility as a key pillar for our organization.  We feel that as leaders in agriculture we need to step up and educate others about how agriculturists are the original stewards of the land,” stated Julie McCaleb, Environmental Manager at Smithfield’s Hog Production facility in Yuma, CO. Smithfield Hog Production installed flow regulators for millions of gallons of water savings, recycled lithium batteries, participated in neighborhood/park beautification projects and established a wildlife habitat program that includes employees and local groups (raptor breeding, etc.).

The Colorado Environmental Leadership Program is open to all Colorado businesses, industries, offices, educational institutions, municipalities, government agencies, communities, nonprofits and other organizations.  For a complete list of organizations with gold, silver and bronze designations and summaries of their environmental efforts, please contact Lynette Myers, Environmental Leadership Program manager, at, or visit the department’s Environmental Leadership Program website.

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