December 20, 2014

Director of Ag Honors Environmental Stewards during Governor's Conference on Agriculture

Steve and Sharon Oetting received the Missouri Environmental Stewardship Award

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) – Steve and Sharon Oetting, of Oetting Hog Farms in Concordia, Mo., received high honors in front of hundreds of Missouri producers and agribusiness leaders during the 45th Missouri Governor's Conference on Agriculture, hosted by Gov. Jay Nixon and the Missouri Department of Agriculture.  During the awards banquet Saturday evening, Missouri’s Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce recognized the Oettings with the Missouri Agriculture Environmental Steward Award.

“One of the essential facets of today’s agriculture landscape is environmental stewardship,” said Director Fordyce. “Missouri producers like the Oettings are doing everything in their power to make advancements that make our work more efficient, advancements that will aid in environmental stewardship and sustainability.”
Oetting Hog Farms is focused on air quality, water quality and land stewardship. The operation uses a three-cell lagoon system, which allows them to recycle and reuse lagoon water, therefore reducing the amount of fresh water that is introduced into the system. The Oettings have built two lakes on their operation to enhance the environment. One is used as a fresh water source for livestock; the other captures runoff from cropland and is stocked with bluegill, catfish and bass.

All fertilizer is distributed by using a GPS system to apply it at a variable rate, which ensures each area of the land receives the exact amount necessary. The Oettings work diligently to maintain the soil and prevent erosion, enhance the wildlife habitat on the farm and keep their facilities operating cleanly and efficiently.

Missouri’s Agriculture Environmental Steward was recognized alongside Legacy Awards in Beef, Soybean, Corn, Pork, Poultry, Forestry, Dairy, Rice and Cotton, the Missouri Farm Innovation Award, the Missouri Farm Broadcaster of the Year Award, Missouri Ag Education Leader Award and the Missouri Food Animal Veterinarian Award at the 2014 Missouri’ Governor’s Conference on Agriculture closing banquet.

The conference, which took place at the Lake of the Ozarks, concluded Saturday evening with a special performance by country music band Sawyer Brown. The three-day event included nationally-recognized speakers, in-depth discussions about current issues and an agriculture tradeshow. Special events during the conference included the Taste of AgriMissouri reception and the Friday evening benefit auction supporting programs for youth and young professionals in agriculture.

For more information on the Governor’s Conference on Agriculture and the Missouri Department of Agriculture, visit the Department online at


Note: Photos of the award presentation are available by contacting Sarah Alsager at or (573) 751-2613.