Brad Greenway is ready for life to slow down a bit.
For the past year, the former National Pork Board's America's Pig Farmer of the Year has been traveling across the United States, speaking to various groups about the pork industry. In total, he's been away from his Mitchell farm for approximately 40 of the past 365 days. And while that may not seem to be overly significant, that's a lot of time away for Greenway, he said.
But every day — including his first as the Pig Farmer of the Year — has proven to be busy.
"The last year has been a whirlwind from the time I was acknowledged in October," Greenway said. "We started out with meeting with news media in Chicago, then the second day we did a satellite media tour and did 29 interviews in about two hours."
And life didn't slow down.
From there, Greenway traveled to Stanford University in California, then the North American Meat Conference in Dallas. Greenway also traveled to the Panel of Sustainable Ag Summit in Georgia, a pork summit in California. And between it all, there were Facebook Live presentations as well as Facetime calls with classes and organizations across the country.
Recently, Leslie McCuiston, of Columbus, Nebraska, was named America's Pig Farmer of the Year for 2017, and despite the end of Greenway's tenure at the helm of the pork industry, he will continue to travel.
"I'll still have some things in March and April where I'll talk to dietary groups in California," Greenway said. "It will gradually slow down, and it won't be nearly as much. I'm lucky to have had a great team at home, people taking care of what happens while I'm away."
Greenway said he spent much of his time advocating for the pork industry. He answered questions and discussed the role of technology on the farm. Because it is an "always-changing" industry, Greenway said people tend to have interesting questions and ideas.
And as his obligations wind down, Greenway said he's thankful for what he's learned. And as McCuiston takes the title over, Greenway said he hopes she continues to initiate and engage in important conversations about pig farming.
"The thing I think I learned the most in the past year is, as farmers, we need to be the source of information," Greenway said. "So many people are interested in how the food is grown is raised, so I encourage every farmer to be part of the conversation. I wish I could have taken another farmer with me on every trip I went on."