Pork Board Members - Pork Checkoff

Pork Board Members

The National Pork Board is comprised of 15 pork producers or importers, nominated by Pork Act Delegates at the National Pork Forum and appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

The board collects the National Pork Checkoff funds and uses those dollars to implement programs of promotion, research and consumer information designed to enhance the marketing of U.S. pork and pork products.

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Bob Ruth, President — Pennsylvania

Bob Ruth is the past president for Country View Family Farms, a farrow-to-finish farm with 110,000 sows.

Bob moved into his current role as the senior vice president for Clemens Food Group after serving Country View Farms for 20 years. He also serves on the Pennsylvania Pork Producers Board of Directors and is an active member of PennAg and Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.

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Al Wulfekuhle, Vice President — Iowa

National Pork Board Vice President Al Wulfekuhle resides in Quasqueton, Iowa, where he owns G&W Pork, a farrow-finish operation, and farms corn and soybeans. He has served on numerous IPPA, NPB and Iowa State University research projects, advisory boards, committees and task forces. He is currently associated with US SHIP, the industry African swine fever strategy working group, AgView development and the Pork Industry Visioning task force.

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Chad Groves, Treasurer — Kansas

National Pork Board Treasurer Chad Groves is the senior vice president of sales and marketing for Seaboard Foods, an integrated processor marketing 7.2 million hogs annually from its 330,000 sows based in Shawnee, Kansas.

Seaboard Foods markets and sells pork for Triumph Foods and Seaboard Triumph Foods. Chad has a diverse background in sales, marketing and business for food, including pork. In his current role with Seaboard Foods, he leads a team to market a premium product to their customers.

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Heather Hill, Past President — Indiana

Heather Hill is co-owner of Hill Farms in Greenfield, Indiana, a 600-sow farrow-to-finish operation. Hill Farms also grows corn, soybeans and wheat.

Heather is a former NPB board vice president and treasurer. She is also former president of the Indiana Pork Board and has been actively involved since 2009. She serves on the National FFA Career Development Sales Committee and is a leader for the local 4-H chapter. Heather is an Operation Main Street speaker.

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Patrick Bane — Illinois

Pat Bane is the co-owner and manager of Bane Family Pork, a 3,000-sow farrow-to-wean farm in Illinois. They also raise corn, soybeans and hay.

Pat has been heavily involved in numerous events with the McLean County Farm Bureau, McLean County Fair and the Illinois Pork Producers Association. He was selected as the 2018 America’s Pig Farmer of the Year, where he served in various capacities as an advocate for the pork industry around the nation.

Jeremy Burkett — Wyoming

Jeremy Burkett is the operator of a farrow-to-feeder farm at Casper College in Wyoming.

As a full-time professor at Casper College, Jeremy specializes in teaching and conducting research in animal science and meat science, along with coaching the livestock judging team. In addition, he serves as a U.S. Pork Center of Excellence board member and is a state executive and member of the board of directors for Wyoming Pork Producers Council.

Jessica Campbell — Ohio

Jessica Campbell is the owner of Carroll Creek Farms, LLC, based in Waynesville, Ohio.

The farm markets 300 pigs per year directly to consumers through a community-supported agriculture program, wholesale freezer meats, their on-farm store and the local farmer’s market. Jessica raises cattle, sheep, broilers, turkeys and layers as well. Professionally, Jessica is the vice president of food and agribusiness for Farm Credit Mid-America. In this role, she supports large commercial swine operators.

Richard Deaton — Ohio

Richard Deaton is a sales representative for PIC – a seedstock producer located in Tennessee.

In addition to serving on numerous statewide committees, Richard has served as an Ohio Pork Council director from 2011-2014 and as an officer since 2015, including as president from 2017-2018. He currently serves as the past president of the Ohio Pork Council. Additionally, he served as a Pork Act Delegate in 2013, 2015, 2018 and 2019.

Alayne Johnson — Indiana

Alayne Johnson is a part-owner of Shady Grove Farms, a fourth-generation family business.

The family has been raising hogs in northeastern Indiana since 1940, and now runs a 1,000-sow, farrow-to-finish hog and integrated crop operation. They market around 25,000 hogs each year and grow approximately 5,800 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat.

Bill Luckey — Nebraska

Bill Luckey, a fourth-generation farmer, owns a wean-to-finish operation in Columbus, Nebraska.

Bill is responsible for the daily care of 500 nursery pigs and 3,500 custom finisher pigs. He also grows corn and soybeans, and raises cattle.

Bill is serving his second term on the National Pork Board and is a board of director for the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence. He has been active on numerous NPB committees, was an Operation Main Street speaker and has served as a board of director on the Swine Health Information Center and National Pork Producers Council.   He was president of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association (NPPA) in 2006.

Denise Mason — North Carolina

Denise Mason is a third-generation pork producer and the owner of Goshen Farms, a 2,400-sow farrow-to-wean farm in North Carolina.

Denise currently serves Maxwell Foods as the company’s first Training and Development Coordinator, on the North Carolina Pork Council and is a part of the Swine Management Advisory Committee at a local community college. She is also a Pork Quality Assurance® Plus and Transport Quality Assurance® advisor and an active Operation Main Street speaker.

Dale Stevermer — Minnesota

Dale Stevermer is the owner of Trails End Farm, a feeder-to-finish and diversified crop operation in Minnesota.

Each year, Trails End Farm markets 5,000 pigs for Compart Family Farms in addition to raising 450 acres of corn and soybeans. Dale is a past president of the Minnesota Pork Producers Association (MPPA) Board of Directors and serves on multiple other committee positions for MPPA. He currently serves on the Agriculture Research, Education, Extension, And Technology Transfer (AGREETT) Advisory Board, which advises the MN Commissioner of Agriculture and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota.

Santiago Vazquez — North Carolina

Santiago Vazquez is a manager for Southern Cross Farms Inc. of Rose Hill, North Carolina. He has ownership of two 3,600-head sow farms and an 18,000 wean-to-finish site. He also owns and operates three chicken broiler farms, one layer farm and has a 200-head cow/calf herd, along with farming 500 acres of pasture. In the industry, Santiago has been involved with North Carolina Pork Council and is a past Pork Leadership Institute member.

Dr. Gordon Spronk — Minnesota

Dr. Gordon Spronk is a partner in a multi-generational diversified farrow-to-finish and cropping farm, Spronk Brothers III, based in Edgerton, Minnesota. Spronk Brothers III markets over 275,000 pigs per year. The family farm also has more than 3,000 acres of corn and soybeans.

Gordon is active in the pork industry, serving on several National Pork Board (NPB) and National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) committees and task forces, including chairing the NPB International Market Development Sustainability Task Force. A few past examples include the Animal Health Committee, African Swine Fever (ASF) Task Force and the ASF Working Group. He most recently served on NPPC’s Board of Directors and has advocated for continued development and support of the U.S. Swine Health Improvement Plan

Stewart Leeth — Virginia

Residing in Richmond, Virginia, Stewart Leeth is chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. Stewart has served in board leadership roles in several organizations, including Virginia Agribusiness Council, Animal Agriculture Alliance, Virginia Forever, North Carolina Forever and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

He is on the board of the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, served on a variety of committees for the North Carolina Pork Council and represents Smithfield in a number of sustainability-focused organizations such as the World 50. He was previously a partner in a law firm, representing agribusiness clients, and has served as assistant attorney general for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Morgan Wonderly — California

In addition to overseeing the university swine farm at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Morgan Wonderly offers students hands-on experiences both inside and outside of the classroom. She teaches courses in swine management, reproduction, and livestock/dairy judging. Morgan is a state trainer for the Pork Quality Assurance Plus program in California, where she bridges the education gap from the Cal Poly classroom into real world production.

She pursues volunteer opportunities such as serving on the board of the California Pork Producers Association along with the National Swine Registry’s Youth Advisory Committee. Morgan is also a recent graduate of the 2022 Pork Leadership Institute.