|A lasting legacy in the pork industry
Stepping into someone else's shoes can be the beginning of a trip anywhere. Stepping into Chuck and Wathina Luthi's shoes is a trip going everywhere. There is a minimal amount of area in the Oklahoma pork industry their shoes haven't traveled. It is with great honor that okPORK announces Chuck and Wathina as the 2014 okPORK Hall of Fame inductees.
Chuck and Wathina's contribution to the pork industry in Oklahoma began before they met, even before they were born. The two met in college, but before then both of their families had been involved in raising pigs. When the young couple moved to Woodward and Chuck took a job working in town, Wathina needed something to keep her busy at home.
"I told him he needed to find something to keep me busy or I was going to get a job in town," Wathina said. "So we got two pigs - and we were excited. We got two sows and started there."
As time went on the Luthi's operation grew. They bought an old granary, a chicken house and several other buildings and converted them when they began to expand. More and more work was needed to keep the farm running.
Soon the industry began to change. The farrow-to-finish operation they had run for the last several years was no longer working. At that point they began to pursue a contract with a larger company and found that opportunity with Murphy Farms.
"In the early 1990s, south of Woodward, we were a 125 head farrow-to-finish operation," Wathina said. "We ground our own feed, marketed the animals and everything. After contracting with Murphy we built the 3,650 head sow unit. It was farrow-to-wean with on-site guilt replacement."
The Luthi's farm has held contracts with several companies throughout the years but now they contract with The Maschhoffs. Their farm is slightly larger and they now have a 4,900 head sow farm. Their weaned baby pigs mostly travel north to Iowa to grow to market size.
Both Chuck and Wathina have been active off the farm as well. No matter whether serving on committes and boards or talking with kids and neighbors they not only volunteer but go above and beyond to accomplish what is needed.
It is an honor and a pleasure for okPORK to be able to show respect to a couple who has been such a large influence to the pork industry by inducting them as the newest members of the okPORK Hall of Fame.
"To say this is an honor would really be short-selling it," Chuck said. "It goes beyond being an honor and I just really appreciate it. I am humbled that Wathina and I are even mentioned in the same breath as the kind of guys who have been inducted before us."