David Newman has been elected to serve a second term as president of the National Pork Board at the organization's November board meeting earlier this week. The NPB's 15 producer-directors represent America's 60,000 pig farmers, who pay into the Pork Checkoff — a program that funds research, promotion and education efforts benefiting the industry.
"Like everyone, U.S. pig farmers have faced significant challenges this year," Newman says. "Supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19 and the real threat of African swine fever have made this one of the most difficult years to be a pig farmer. But it has also shown us how resilient and agile our industry and the Pork Checkoff are in the face of adversity."
Despite the numerous challenges the pork industry has faced, Newman is optimistic about the opportunities ahead.
"I am excited to be able to lead the Pork Checkoff for a second term as we implement key learnings from the past year, continue to build on retail sales growth for pork seen during the pandemic and show consumers the values of the pork industry from farm to fork through our Real Pork master brand," says Newman, who owns and operates a farrow-to-finish Berkshire farm that markets pork directly to consumers and foodservice operators.
Rounding out the Pork Board's executive officer team are Vice President Gene Noem, from Ames, Iowa, and Treasurer Heather Hill, from Greenfield, Ind. Both are serving their second of a three-year term on the board.
Other producers appointed by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and signed in this week to serve second terms on the Pork Board include Scott Phillips, Drexel, Mo.; Deb Ballance, Fremont, N.C.; and Todd Erickson, Northwood, N.D.. Al Wulfekuhle, from Quasqueton, Iowa, was appointed to serve his first term.
In addition to operating his family's Berkshire farm near Myrtle, Mo., Newman is also an associate professor of Animal Sciences at Arkansas State University where he teaches and conducts research, with an emphasis in meat science. He most recently served as board vice president, on the 2020 Strategic Planning Task Force, and on the Swine Health committee. He previously chaired the Domestic Marketing committee, served on the Producer Services committee and participated in Pork Leadership Academy.
Noem finishes hogs at JMG Farms in Howard County. Noem also manages the contracted gilt multiplication for PIC North America. He is in his second term on the board, most recently serving on the 2020 Strategic Planning Task Force and co-chairing the joint We Care Task Force with the National Pork Producers Council. He also serves on the Iowa Pork Producers Association board of directors and on its Promotions Committee.
Hill is co-owner of Hill Farms, a 600-sow farrow-to-finish operation, near Greenfield, Ind., with her husband, Marc, and his parents. Hill Farms also grows corn, soybeans and wheat. Hill is a former president of the Indiana Pork Board and has been actively involved since 2009. She also serves on the National FFA Career Development Sales Committee and is a leader for the local 4-H chapter. She is also an Operation Main Street speaker.