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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Al Wulfekuhle, President — Iowa

National Pork Board 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.

Dr. Gordon Spronk, Vice President — 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

Alayne Johnson, Treasurer — 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.

Bob Ruth, Past 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.

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.

Chad Groves — Kansas

Chad Groves is the CEO 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.

Jesse Heimer — Missouri

Jesse Heimer owns Heimer Hampshires, a 500-sow show pig enterprise, where he leads a team of eight raising competitive pigs for junior livestock enthusiasts nationwide and sells progressive genetics via semen and breeding stock to other breeders.

Heimer is a founding member and past board member of the Missouri Youth Show Pig Circuit (2009-2023) and a current Missouri Pork Association board member. At the national level, he is a Pork Leadership Institute graduate (2021); hosted dialogue with industry leaders to foster harmony between show pigs and commercial sectors; sits on the NPPC Traceability task force ; participates in the AgView working group and represents exhibition swine on the General Conference Committee of the U.S. Swine Health Improvement Plan.

Dr. Seth Krantz — Tennessee

Seth Krantz, DVM, has held a leadership position at Tosh Pork for 12 years, while he has been in production for about 17 years. Tosh Pork has approximately 38,000 sows, producing more than 1 million market hogs yearly. His commitment to helping pig farmers is evident as a Pork Quality Assurance® Plus and Transport Quality Assurance® advisor.

Dr. Krantz is a licensed veterinarian in select states and a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians. He most recently graduated from a master’s program in veterinary science from the University of Illinois, a program designed for lifelong learning of business, critical thinking and scientific skills specific to food-producing animals.

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.

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.

Kevin Rasmussen — Iowa

Kevin Rasmussen raised pigs for 45 years and farmed 1,100 acres of row crops for 41 years. After shifting several operational styles, he most recently managed an 1,100 head farrow-to-finish and now consults finishing for a management company. Rasmussen’s respected experience in the industry includes being the immediate past president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association; National Pork Producer’s Council PorkPac, which is a political action committee; and NPB’s International Market Development Sustainability Differentiation task force.


Jessica Stevens — Ohio

Jessica Stevens 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.

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.

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.