Meat the Pig Farmers,
Terry and Diane O’Neel are fourth generation farmers. Their pig farm raises 14,000 pigs annually and is located near Friend, Nebraska. They are parents of Ethan and Danielle, and are proud grandparents, as well. In addition to the pig operation, the O’Neels transport their own pigs, grow corn, soybeans, and alfalfa, haul their own manure, and have their own feed mill, which Ethan operates. Diane works off the farm, at the Farm Service Agency, but she also does all the farm financials, runs errands and often finds herself stopping by the vet’s office on her way home from the office.
The O’Neel family cares about how they treat their animals. “A healthy, happy animal is one that provides us with our way of living,” Terry says. “It’s frustrating to see videos of animal cruelty because it’s not in our DNA as farmers to mistreat animals.” The family welcomes guests to tour their farm. “We open the barn doors and show people how we are raising their food,” Terry says. The O’Neels not only raise the animals responsibly, but they also use sustainable practices on their farm to protect the environment. Over the years, they have planted over 1,600 trees to keep the farm well-landscaped, along with flowerbeds and neatly trimmed grass. They use 100% no-tillage on their crops, which protects the soil, and they handle manure properly to reduce the amount of fertilizer. In 2008 the O’Neels received the National Pork Board’s Environmental Stewards Award, which recognizes producers who show a strong commitment to protecting the environment while promoting the well-being of people and pigs.
When it comes to animal welfare, sustainability, and the environment, you can be confident that pork producers in Nebraska, like the O’Neels, serve as thoughtful leaders for the other pig farmers throughout the nation.
The O’Neel family has been promoting pork and pork producers ever since they became a part of the industry. Terry has always been very active in the industry, serving as both the president of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association and the National Pork Board. The entire family was even part of a national campaign for Farmland Foods. Diane is very involved in her community and is known for her participation in the annual Warren Opera House restoration fundraiser. Diane’s “Candy Bacon” is always a highlight at the event.