After 31 years of distinguished service with the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), including the last 20 as CEO, Neil Dierks has announced his plan to retire from NPPC by the end of the year. The NPPC Board of Directors has initiated a search for a new CEO. Dierks will remain in his role as CEO until the search process is completed and will serve as a strategic counselor during a transition period.
“Over the last 40 years, Neil has made countless, lasting contributions to the U.S. pork industry and established NPPC as a leading national advocacy organization and the global voice of the U.S. pork industry,” said Jen Sorenson, NPPC president and communications director with Iowa Select Farms in West Des Moines, Iowa. “He announces his plan to retire from NPPC at a time when the organization is in a stronger position than ever before to fulfill its advocacy mission.”
“I have truly enjoyed my service as CEO of NPPC,” said Dierks. “The chance to interface with producers and others in the pork industry and beyond and to work with producer leaders and the talented NPPC staff has been the highlight of my career.”
The NPPC Board of Directors has assembled a search committee made up of producer leaders and retained Korn Ferry to lead the search for a new CEO. The NPPC board expects to complete the search by the end of the year.
Dierks started his career in the pork industry when he joined the Iowa Pork Producers Association in 1981 to manage the Iowa Pork Congress. He went on to lead legislative state outreach for the organization. After leading field service and state legislative outreach for the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Dierks joined NPPC in 1990 to manage World Pork Expo. He also served as director of operations for NPPC’s CEO, vice president of research and education, and senior vice president of programs. Six months after NPPC and the industry’s checkoff were split into independent organizations, Dierks was recruited from the checkoff to lead NPPC as CEO in 2001, when it had five employees and World Pork Expo was its single source of revenue. He led NPPC’s steady growth over the next 20 years, expanding sources of revenue and establishing it as a highly effective, influential national advocacy organization critical to the profitable growth of U.S. pork producers.