Family of the Year
2022 Illinois Pork Producer Family of the Year:
Stitzel Family from Shannon, IL
Darrell and his wife Laurie are the proud owners of Stitzel Hog Farm. They currently farm 450 acres of corn with a dryer system and on farm storage and operate a 10,000 head wean-to-finish hog farm. The Stitzel Family history in Carroll County goes back over 65 years. In the beginning, Darrell’s grandparents, Quinter and Iva Mae, raised beef cattle and hogs on the farm. Darrell’s parents, Dan and Paulette, took the operation over in mid-60’s.
The first hog barn was built in 1972 and in the early 1980’s, the Stitzel’s farm was a farrow-to finish operation with hogs raised both indoors and outdoors. Twenty years ago, the farm transitioned the operation from farrowing their own to buying weaner pigs from Bethany Sow Farm in DeKalb County.
As a teenager, Darrell always helped on the farm. However, Darrell’s interest in the pork industry became a career when he started farming full-time in the summer of 1990 after receiving his degree in Ag Economics from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.
Over a decade ago, Darrell’s parents turned the day-to-day operations over to Darrell and today with the help of his cousin, Nathan Kluck, they manage the farming operation. Darrell was later encouraged to get more involved in the organizational side of the industry and followed in his father’s footsteps serving on the Carroll County Pork Producer board. The Stitzel family enjoyed cooking alongside fellow pork producers for a variety of county events over the years.
Later in 2001, Darrell was elected to serve on the Illinois Pork Producers Association Board of Directors and in 2005 was elected President. During his tenure as IPPA President, Stitzel led the association’s efforts in shifting to producer image campaigns and educating the general assembly on issues impacting the pork industry. In addition to Darrell’s state leadership in the pork industry, he also served on the National Pork Leadership Academy in 2004 and spoke at over 30 Operation Main Street engagements over the years.
Like many good pork producing families, the Stitzel Family has always been active in several community organizations over the years. Laurie is a member of the Shannon Lions Club and Darrell currently serves on the FBFM State Board. Darrell currently serves as the Cherry Grove Shannon Township Supervisor and recently stepped down from the Carroll County Board after 10 years. Laurie recently retired from working at Headquarters, a beauty shop that she owned and operated in downtown Shannon for over 30 years.
“The Stitzel family, for multi-generations, have always provided the best of care for both their livestock and their community,” said Brent & Kathy Scholl, Family of the Year Award nominators. “They have always been willing to help promote pork, serve on boards, care for their animals, and give food advice to those wanting their help. Darrell has served at the local level, state level, and both Darrell and Laurie have helped at the national pork events.”
“Darrell and Laurie have cooked and served many meals in their local community, and with the Carroll County Pork Producers. Laurie has served many meals out of her home for local events and district meetings. Darrell and Laurie, both helped cook and serve pork in Dallas, TX for Operation Snowball.”
“Darrell has served all the offices at the state level and served on the state IPPA board for 9 years. He and Laurie helped at several events held in the Chicago area to promote pork. All members of the Stitzel family are more than ready to help promote pork in their area and state, always with a smile on their face. The Stitzel's are gracious, kind people and so deserving of this award!”
Current IPPA board member, Carrie Pollard, had this to say about the Stitzel Family. “Even years after retiring from the IPPA Board, I always appreciate that I can ask for Darrell’s opinions and thoughts on issues affecting the pork industry. He gives thoughtful insight. As a producer, I know that Darrell will question the status quo and push himself, and those around him to be better. And it doesn’t get much better than Laurie’s Ham Balls! They deserve an award unto themselves!”
Over the years, the Stitzel Family have made a lasting impression within in their community and the pork industry. Darrell and Laurie have strived to adapt to changes and grow their business, while being good stewards of the land and caring for their animals.
IPPA is proud to award the Stitzel Family with the 2022 IL Pork Family of the Year title. They are utmost deserving of this designation.
Previous Illinois Pork Producer Family of the Year Award Winners:
|1989||Carl (Mary Lou) Behme||Carlinville|
|1990||Erval (Betty) Borgic||Nokomis|
|1991||Wayne A (Marlene) Maschhoff||Carlyle|
|1992||Hilding (Joann) Allen||Princeton|
|1993||Barb (late Art) Drach||Saunemin|
|1994||Mark (Sherly) VonHolten||Lyndon|
|1994||Norm (Sue) VonHolten||Sheffield|
|1995||Donald (Saundra) Huftalin||Malta|
|1996||David (Linda) Duncan||Mendon|
|1997||Paul (Judith) McClure||Newton|
|1998||Craig (Marilyn) Janssen||Lyndon|
|1999||Don (Lenora) Peter||Quincy|
|2000||Wilbur (Alice) Paulus||Lincoln|
|2001||George (Ruth) Brauer||Oakford|
|2002||Wayne (Garnet) Schlueter||Rock City|
|2003||Russell (Mary) Jeckel||Delavan|
|2004||Richard (Venita) Baker||Liberty|
|2005||Rick (Barb) Dean||LeRoy|
|2006||Jim Scheetz Family||Niota|
|2007||Roy (Fran) Weitekamp Family||Raymond|
|2008||John (Jan) Kellogg Family||Yorkville|
|2009||Nelson Family Farm||Lynn Center|
|2010||Keller Grain & Livestock||Willow Hill|
|2011||Gary (Marietta) Dunkirk Family||Morrisonville|
|2012||Scholl Family Farms||Polo|
|2013||Haag Family Farm||Emington|
|2014||Gerald (Nancy) Hartmann Family Farm||Maple Park|
|2015||Eldon Gould Family Farm||Maple Park|
|2016||Dave Conrady Family Farm||Elkhart|
|2017||Curt Zehr Family Farm||Washington|
|2018||Phillip Bradshaw Family||Griggsville|
|2019||Lehmann Bros Farm||Strawn|