Golden Circle Pork | Rod & Missy Bice

Rod and Missy Bice have farmed in Boone County for more than 30 years and have always maintained a vision of feeding families in a sustainable, economic and environmentally conscious manner. It’s why they selected “Golden Circle Pork” as the name for their rural Woodward century farm in 1996.

The Bices’ vision earned them the Pork Industry Environmental Steward Award for 2011, as selected by the Pork Checkoff and award co-sponsor National Hog Farmer magazine. Golden Circle Pork was one of four hog farms around the country to receive the award.

With help from their four children (Jacoby, Savannah, Delaney and Brylee Jo), Rod and Missy own and operate a 3,300-head wean-to-finish pork production enterprise under contract with Murphy-Brown. They have 1,400 acres of corn and soybeans, feed 200 cattle and operate a small cow-calf herd.

Q. What water quality practices have you used on your farm?
A. We use a variety of practices on our farm to protect the water. We use terraces and waterways to allow the water from rainfall to flow without taking the soil with it. We have grass buffers along the creeks or streams that we farm next to for filtration. We use grass buffers around field tile intakes to hold soil in place, and filter the water before it gets to the tile. A pit additive that we use also helps hold the nutrients in place when we apply fertilizer.

Q. Why did you voluntarily adopt these practices?
A. We voluntarily adopted these practices because we feel it's the right thing to do. There is very little out-of-pocket expense with what seems like a substantial reward. Keeping soil in place and keeping water clean are the main goals we are striving to maintain. If we can show that we can do this voluntarily, maybe there won't need to be any new regulations imposed later to get people to comply.

Q. What, if any, assistance did you receive to incorporate these practices (financial as well as technical)?
A. There is financial and technical assistance for some of the practices that we have implemented such as for terraces, waterways and buffer strips. As for the pit additive, there is no assistance, but the benefits of holding the nitrogen in place lead to increased yields — and better agitation more than pays for itself!

Q. What is your philosophy as it relates to farming and the environment?
A. We need to farm responsibly to keep agriculture sustainable for years to come. We produce food, fiber, and fuel for an ever-growing population on a limited number of acres. The land we have now is all we will ever have. You can't just make more when the old is used up. Our goal is to preserve and improve our natural resources (land and water) for ourselves, our community, our world and our future generations.