Jean Spilker and Paul Hay, both of Beatrice were honored by the NPPA at its annual meeting as recipients of Outstanding Pork Service Awards. These awards are given annually to recognize superior efforts done on behalf of Nebraska’s pork industry.

Jean Spilker was awarded the Outstanding Pork Service Award for Industry Outreach to recognize her 22 years as manager of the Blue Valley pork producer food stand at the Gage County Fair. The pork booth was open from 10 a.m to 10 p.m. daily during the five days of the Gage County Fair. This past July the food stand served nearly 2,000 pounds of pork during the fair. Her leadership in managing the food stand, coordinating the many volunteers, and developing the menu made it a tremendous success. In honor of Jean and her many hours of promoting pork at the Gage County Fair, her “Pork Sundaes” were served at the lunch.


Paul Hay was awarded the Outstanding Pork Service Award for Producer Outreach for his service to the swine industry. After earning his Masters in agronomy, he worked at the Nebraska Extension/Nebraska Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He was hired at the Frontier County Extension office in Curtis, where he worked for five years before coming to Gage County in 1980. For nine years, he served as swine superintendent or assistant at the Nebraska State fair, and was active in the land application and manure management teaching group in Extension for 20 years. For many years, he was involved with hosting the North American Manure Expo in Norfolk. Beginning in 2009, Paul along with partners Larry Germer and Jim Damrow, were instrumental in training southeast Nebraska’s youth, producers and truckers in the National Pork Board’s Quality Assurance Certifications program.