Jim Meimann, senior vice president for governance and operations for the National Pork Board, and Mike Wegner, vice president of communications for the National Pork Board, will retire April 1.
Meimann began his 27 years of service to the pork industry with the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) in 1986 at the start of the Checkoff and joined the Pork Board in 2001. Over the years, he has made many contributions to the industry. One of his notable contributions included organizing the Checkoff and ensuring a smooth transition during the separation of NPPC and the National Pork Board.
"Few individuals have done so much for the pork industry, with so little fanfare," National Pork Board CEO Chris Novak said. "Jim's farm background, passion for producers and the pork industry, institutional knowledge and attention to detail have always made him the person that producers and staff turn to for help in solving problems. He has been a cornerstone for work done for, with and on behalf of producers."
Wegner, with the Pork Board for 11 years, has been instrumental in branding the Pork Checkoff and helping producers understand how it is invested on their behalf. When he came on board in 2001, just over half of producers supported the work of the Checkoff compared with 85 percent today.
"Through Mike's vision, his energy for telling the pork story and his dedication, he has worked tirelessly to ensure that pork producers understood how their Checkoff dollars were creating a return for the industry," Novak said.
During his time with the National Pork Board, Wegner led a team of industry leaders in developing the pork industry's ethical principles that serve as the foundation for the We Caresminitiative. He helped create the Operation Main Street speakers program and has overseen the development of a social media program, an industry-leading issues management program and has been a major contributor to the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance's consumer outreach efforts.