Tim Bierman, a farmer from Larrabee, Iowa, has been elected president of the National Pork Board. Gene Nemechek, DVM, Tyson Foods, Springdale, Ark., has been elected vice president. Both will serve one-year terms.
Bierman, who had served NPB as vice president, has a long history of service to the U.S pork industry through his work on the Iowa Pork Producers Association board. He is also a two-term member of the National Pork Board. He also has served on the national organization's animal well-being, domestic marketing and budget committees and has held a number of other state and national pork industry positions.
"Pork producers know this is one of the most challenging periods our industry has ever faced," Bierman said. "It began almost two years ago with the sudden and dramatic increase in our input costs because of higher corn and soybean prices. And now with the H1N1 flu, we're experiencing lower prices for our pigs because of the way some countries and some consumers have misconstrued the role of swine in the global pandemic.
"At the same time, I am optimistic because I believe the National Pork Board, through the Pork Checkoff, is well positioned to help producers work through the current challenges, Bierman said. "I'm also optimistic about the progress our industry is making through the We Care initiative to demonstrate to all of our customers that U.S. pork producers are ethically and scientifically committed to delivering high-quality pork products that are safe, nutritious and affordable. I'm looking forward to a good year."
Bierman and his wife, Mary, raise 15,000 hogs annually on their diversified farm in northwest Iowa. Bierman and Nemechek were elected during the board's summer meeting, held in conjunction with the annual Pork Industry Conference at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.
The board also set a $46.8 million target for the 2010 budget year beginning Jan. 1. That target compares to a $58.5 million budget for 2009. Because of lower hog prices, Checkoff revenues are expected to be lower in 2010.