MAPLE PARK – A Maple Park family, whose members have produced pork for three generations, received honors this month from the Illinois Pork Producers Association.
The Gould family on Feb. 3 was named the 2015 Illinois Pork Producer Family of the Year in Peoria during the Illinois Pork Expo. The association represents more than 2,000 pork producers throughout Illinois. The family was surprised by the award, said Eldon Gould, who owns and operates Gould Farms with his wife, Sandy, along with their son, Chris, and his wife, Dana.
“It’s always nice to be recognized by your peers,” Eldon Gould said in a phone interview.
Eldon and his father, Don, started farming together in 1963, according to a news release. The family has a 3,000-acre crop operation and a 750-sow farrow-to-wean operation.
The Goulds currently produce 18,000 piglets annually for a local hog production network.
“The Goulds are dedicated and committed to a lifelong journey of success in the pork industry,” said Curt Zehr, the association’s president, in the news release. “As a close family, they not only work together to create a strong business, but sincerely care about pork production and the community where they live. They have strived to adapt to change and grow their business, while being good stewards of the land, caring for their animals, and being valuable members of their community.”
The Goulds have been members of the DeKalb Area Pork Producers for more than 50 years, the release states. The Goulds have donated pregnant sows to the Chicago High School of Ag Sciences.
Gould family members do not typically let people tour the inside of their facilities because of health reasons, but in 2012 and 2014 they hosted several women in the Field Moms program offered by Illinois Farm Families.