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DAA: Malcolm S. DeKryger

Malcolm S. DeKryger

, | Distinguished Ag Alumni: 2012

Malcolm DeKryger may be an officer in a multimillion-dollar agribusiness, but he’ll always be a hog farmer first. The vice president of Belstra Milling Company grew up in western Michigan and made his way through Calvin College by working for an uncle in the pig business. “It’s simple, I just loved the animal,” he says. After earning his master’s degree at Purdue and working a stint as a Purdue Extension swine specialist, he launched a career in sales. He was traveling a 14-state territory when Belstra Milling, one of his Indiana customers, asked for his recommendations on someone to head its business development function. Attracted by the company’s family values and the opportunity to settle in a small town, DeKryger signed on for what he calls “an unbelievable ride.” When he joined Belstra in 1991, the hog production business consisted of 600 sows, and the mill produced 36,000 tons of mixed feed. Under his leadership the pork business has grown to 11,500 sows with an annual production in excess of 310,000 breeding and market animals. The feed milling operation now produces more than 120,000 tons of mixed feeds. “My job is to make sure there’s a reason to make feed every day,” he says. DeKryger has directed all phases of design, finance, and construction of the facilities that led to the growth of the pork business. These were among the first in Indiana to utilize new technologies and are among the most productive in the country. A 2,500-sow unit in Wheatfield, Indiana, received the 2010 Pork Industry Environmental Steward Award. DeKryger and his wife Donna have three children and one granddaughter, and the family enjoys snow skiing and travel. He is active in the pork industry and in his community, from announcing high school basketball games and playing his baritone in churches to traveling with church mission and construction trips. In addition, Belstra Milling donates more than 500 pounds of ground pork and beef to the Northwest Indiana Food Bank each week.