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.
Gene Noem, President — Iowa
Noem finishes hogs at JMG Farms in Howard County. Gene also manages the contracted gilt multiplication for PIC North America. He is in his second term on the board, most recently serving as the board vice president, on the 2020 Strategic Planning Task Force, and co-chairing the joint We CareSM Task Force with the National Pork Producers Council. Gene also serves on the Iowa Pork Producers Association board of directors and on its Promotions Committee.
Heather Hill, Vice President — Indiana
Heather Hill is co-owner of Hill Farms in Greenfield, Indiana, a 600-sow farrow-to-finish operation, with her husband Marc and his parents. Hill Farms also grows corn, soybeans and wheat. Heather is a former NPB board treasurer. She is also former president of the Indiana Pork Board and has been actively involved since 2009. She serves on the National FFA Career Development Sales Committee and is a leader for the local 4-H chapter. Heather is an Operation Main Street speaker.
Russ Nugent, Treasurer — Arkansas
Russ Nugent, of Lowell, Arkansas, owns Dogwood Ag Services, LLC, which produces and sells hay and pork as well as offers technical consulting services. Russ is active in several National Pork Board initiatives, particularly the AgView software strategy focused on providing business continuity in the face of foreign animal disease. Russ worked at Tyson Foods for nearly 30 years, primarily serving as the director of technical services. He was responsible for veterinary/health, nutrition, genetics, research, animal welfare and sustainability, and he also had responsibilities in the live swine division. Russ has served on the Swine Health Information Center Funding Committee, the Feed Biosecruity Risk Committee and the PEDV Strategic Task Force.
David Newman, Past President — Arkansas
David Newman owns and operates a farrow-to-finish Berkshire farm in Myrtle, Missouri, that markets pork directly to consumers throughout the U.S. Dave 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 president, 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.
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. Bane 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, Burkett 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.
Deborah Ballance — North Carolina
Deborah Ballance owns and operates Legacy Farms, a farrow-to-finish hog operation near Fremont, North Carolina. Legacy Farms raises hogs and cattle and grows corn, soybeans and hay. Ballance also owns Legacy Biogas, which uses manure from the farm to generate electricity that is sold to the power company. She is a member of the North Carolina Pork Council and North Carolina Farm Bureau (Wayne County) board of directors.
Richard Deaton — Ohio
Richard Deaton is a sales representative for PIC – a seedstock producer located in Tennessee. In addition to serving on numerous statewide committees, he has served as an Ohio Pork Council director from 2011-2014 and as an officer since 2015, including as president from 2017-2018. He currently serves as the past president of the Ohio Pork Council. Additionally, he served as a Pork Act Delegate in 2013, 2015, 2018 and 2019.
Bill Luckey — Nebraska
Bill Luckey, a fourth-generation farmer, owns a wean-to-finish operation in Columbus, Nebraska, and is a part-owner of a sow farm. Bill is responsible for the daily care of 740 nursery pigs and 1,400 finisher pigs. In addition, his family operates a 2,000 head custom contract finisher and markets 10,000 pigs annually. He also grows corn, soybeans and cattle on 700 acres. Bill is serving his second term on the National Pork Board and also serves on the board of directors for the Swine Health Information Center. He has been active on numerous NPB committees, is an Operation Main Street speaker, has served on the National Pork Producers Council board of directors (2008-2014), and on the Nebraska Pork Producers Association board of directors (2001-2007). He was president of the NPPA board from 2006-2007.
Denise Mason — North Carolina
Denise Mason is a third-generation pork producer and the owner of Goshen Farms, a 2,400-sow farrow-to-wean farm in North Carolina. Mason currently serves Maxwell Foods as the company’s first Training and Development Coordinator, on the North Carolina Pork Council and is a part of the Swine Management Advisory Committee at a local community college. She is also a Pork Quality Assurance® Plus and Transport Quality Assurance® advisor and an active Operation Main Street speaker.
Alicia Pedemonti — New Hampshire
Alicia Pedemonti operates a small, diversified farm with her family in Unity and Hopkinton, New Hampshire. She also works as a veterinary technician for the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food. Each year, Alicia markets about 100 pigs directly to consumers and to other farm families wanting to raise their own pigs. Alicia has served on a number of NPB committees and task forces over the years, including the Nominating Committee and the Producer/Public Health and Workplace Safety Committee. She also has been active in her state and regional pork associations and serves as a Pork Act Delegate.
Scott Phillips — Missouri
Scott Phillips owns and operates Phillips Farms in Drexel, Missouri. Phillips Farms has a farrow-to-finish operation that markets 54,000 pigs annually. Scott also grows corn and soybeans on his family farm. He is active in the Missouri Pork Association, serving as chair from 2015 to 2016, as well as terms as treasurer and secretary. Scott, who has served on the Pork Checkoff’s Producer Services and Communications Committee, was a Pork Act Delegate from 2002 to 2016. He is currently the Missouri Pork Association’s representative to the U.S. Meat Export Federation and is serving on the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance board of directors.
Bob Ruth — Pennsylvania
Bob Ruth is the past president for Country View Family Farms, a farrow-to-finish farm with 110,000 sows. Ruth 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.
Dale Stevermer — Minnesota
Dale Stevermer is the owner of Trails End Farm, a feeder-to-finish and diversified crop operation in Minnesota. Each year, Trails End Farm markets 5,000 pigs for Compart Family Farms in addition to raising 450 acres of corn and soybeans. Stevermer is a past president of the Minnesota Pork Producers Association (MPPA) Board of Directors and serves on multiple other committee positions for MPPA. He currently serves on the Agriculture Research, Education, Extension, And Technology Transfer (AGREETT) Advisory Board, which advises the MN Commissioner of Agriculture and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota.
Alan Wulfekuhle — Iowa
Alan Wulfekuhle is owner and operator of G&W Pork in Quasqueton, Iowa. The farrow-to-finish farm markets 45,000 pigs annually. He also raises corn and soybeans. Alan served on the board of the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) and as its president. Alan is currently involved in IPPA finance, research and animal health committees, as well as IPPA’s Foreign Animal Disease Task Force. He currently chairs the National Swine Disease Response Council and was previously on numerous National Pork Board committees. Alan also serves on the Iowa State University advisory boards for the College of Veterinarian Diagnostics and Production Animal Medicine and Iowa Pork Industry Center.