Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced five appointments to the 15-member National Pork Board. The five appointees will serve three-year terms beginning July 1. They were chosen from among eight pork producers nominated and ranked by the National Pork Act Delegate Body during its annual meeting in March.

The appointees are:

• Everett L. Forkner, Richards, Mo. - Second term
• Julie A. Maschhoff, Carlyle, Ill.- First term
• Derrick D. Sleezer, Cherokee, Iowa - First term
• Wathina M. Luthi, Gage, Okla.- First term
• Steven R. Wuergler, Drain, Ore. - First term

Everett Forkner was recently elected vice president of the National Pork Board by his fellow board members. He is the owner and president of Forkner Farms Inc., which has 500 purebred sows and markets 8,000 hogs per year. He has sold hogs in 27 different countries. He also raises corn, soybeans and wheat on 2,000 acres.
Julie Maschhoff, along with her husband, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, is the owner of The Maschhoffs LLC, as well as its vice president of communications. The Maschhoffs LLC is a farrow-to-finish operation with 130,000 sows and markets 2.8 million hogs a year. She has been active on several National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) committees and testified on behalf of NPPC before the Environmental Protection Agency. At the state level she served on the Illinois Pork Producers Association Board and on its Environment, Public Policy and Producer Health and Pork Safety Committees.

Derrick Sleezer is a manager and employee of Sleezer, Inc. Sleezer, Inc. is a farrow-to-finish, farrow-to wean and farrow-to-feeder pig operation that has 700 sows and markets 15,000 hogs annually. The operation includes 1,500 acres corn, soybean and alfalfa. He is a graduate of the latest class of Pork Leadership Academy, serves on the Pork Checkoff Domestic Marketing Committee and is a Pork Act Delegate. At the state level he serves on the Iowa Pork Producers Association Promotion Committee, Iowa Pork Congress Committee and has served on the Foreign Market Development Committee.

Wathina Luthi is co-owner of Luthi Farms, LLC. Luthi Farms, LLC is a farrow-to-wean operation with 4,800 sows and markets 100,000 hogs a year. Luthi also raises cattle and has 960 acres of hay and wheat pasture. She is a member of the Oklahoma Pork Council and is an Operation Main Street (OMS) and OMS.2 speaker. Her farm was the recipient of the 2004 National Environmental Steward Award.

Steve Wuergler, along with his wife and two daughters, owns a farrow-to-finish operation with 18 sows that markets 100-150 hogs annually and is a seedstock producer with 40 acres. He is a graduate of the National Pork Board's Pork Leadership Academy and has served as a Pork Act Delegate. He also was Oregon's state contact in 2007. At the state level, he is vice president of the Oregon Pork Producers Association, is a certified Youth Pork Quality Assurance® trainer and is a member of the Oregon Pork Producers Board of Directors.

The first official board meeting for the new members will be July 11 during the National Pork Industry Conference in Wisconsin.

The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health, pork safety and environmental management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at www.pork.org.