DES MOINES, IOWA — The National Pork Board (NPB) elected four new officers for the 2023-2024 term beginning July 1.
NPB’s 15-producer board of 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. The board allocates Pork 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.
Newly Elected NPB President Expresses Commitment to Pork Producers
Pennsylvania pork producer Bob Ruth was elected to serve as the president of NPB. Ruth currently serves as the senior vice president for Clemens Food Group after working for Country View Family Farms for more than 20 years. He is also an active member of the Pennsylvania Pork Producers Board of Directors, PennAg and Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.
“I am deeply honored to be selected by my peers as president for the next year,” Ruth said. “We are all committed to serving our fellow producers by providing the best return possible on their Pork Checkoff investments. I know this is a difficult time in our industry, but I want our producers to know we don’t take it lightly and we will continue to work tirelessly on their behalf to help educate, promote and conduct research showing consumers pork is a great source of sustainable protein.”
Meet the New Vice President, Treasurer, and Past President
In addition to Ruth, Al Wulfekuhle (Iowa) was reappointed to the board and elected as vice president and Chad Groves (Kansas) was elected as treasurer. Heather Hill (Indiana) will serve as past president in an ex-officio status.
“Serving on the National Pork Board the past six years and as the president the last year has been a true honor and very humbling to represent America’s pork producers,” Hill said. “I’m very proud of the work the pork board is doing and has planned for the future. Right now, pork producers are facing very challenging times, and I want my fellow producers to know that NPB leaders are here to listen, learn and lead. We are committed to making sure the investments we’re making with our Pork Checkoff dollars in research, education and promotion protect our freedom to operate, support demand for the product we raise both domestically and internationally and help us prevent and prepare for foreign animal disease.”
Other producers appointed by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to serve terms on the National Pork Board beginning July 1 include:
- Dr. Gordon Spronk, Minnesota
- Morgan Wonderly, California
- Santiago Vazquez, North Carolina
- Stewart Leeth, Virginia
- Al Wulfekuhle, Iowa
Ways to Get Involved in Pork Industry Leadership
Are you interested in serving as a leader in the pork industry? Pork producers are encouraged to get involved. Learn how.
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 $0.35 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.