Chris Hodges, a pork industry leader with substantial senior management experience in agriculture, will join the National Pork Board as its new chief executive officer on Feb. 16. Currently based in Kansas City, Hodges is senior vice president - business development of Smithfield Farmland.
"When I first joined what was then Farmland Industries as a grain division manager, I joined a farmer cooperative," said Hodges. "Over the years, I have grown to understand the needs and challenges facing pork producers. From product marketing to disease management to sustainability, I look forward to working with the National Pork Board staff and Board to develop the tangible tools and grassroots programs on behalf of America's pig farmers."
Hodges brings to the Pork Checkoff decades of in-depth knowledge and innovation in marketing pork to key U.S. food retailers and into international markets. Much of his fresh pork marketing experience includes direct producer outreach and involvement related to adopting on-farm practices specifically designed to improve overall meat quality. His last day with Smithfield will be Feb. 13, upon which he will move to Des Moines to lead the Pork Checkoff.