DES MOINES, IOWA — Indiana pork producer Heather Hill was elected to serve as president of the National Pork Board (NPB) for the 2022-2023 term. NPB’s 15 producer directors represent the 60,000 U.S. pig farmers who pay into the Pork Checkoff – a program funding research, promotion and education efforts for the benefit of the whole industry.
“Real Pork is about real farmers, leading efforts to ensure the public understands our product is real nutritious and real sustainable,” explains Hill, who co-owns a 600-sow farrow-to-finish operation in Indiana with her husband and his parents. Hill’s family also grows corn, soybeans and wheat. “Along with my fellow volunteer leaders on the Board of Directors, we will deliver real results to help protect producer freedom to operate and promote continuity of business should a foreign animal disease, like African swine fever, challenge the US herd.”
The board allocates Checkoff funds to address producer priorities, outlined in the producer-led annual planning process, to build trust and add value for U.S. pork and pork products.
In addition to Hill, other members of the 2022-2023 officer team include, Vice President Bob Ruth, from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
“I just believe we have a lot of great momentum in the organization right now and so much potential for the future,” says Ruth. “The best of our work as board is just beginning and I’m excited to have the opportunity to be a part of it.”
And, Al Wulfekuhle from Quasqueton, Iowa will serve as treasurer.
“I really like the direction this board is headed in. We have a good group of talented, passionate people who want to make a difference,” Wulfekuhle explains. “I’m looking forward to being in leadership and working more closely with staff to use Pork Checkoff dollars for the maximum effect for the industry.”
Gene Noem from Ames, Iowa, will serve as past president in an ex-officio status.
“Give back to the industry; we need to be relevant now, but with the long view in mind,” advises Noem. “I have come to realize it is not just an honor, it’s also the enormity of the responsibility we have to make sure funding is spent in a way that the majority of investors would say ‘that was a good move.’”
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Pork Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in consumer education and marketing, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety, and environmental management and sustainability. For the past half century, the U.S. pork industry has delivered on its commitment to sustainable production and has made significant strides in reducing the environmental impact of pig farming. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or visit porkcheckoff.org.