Al Tank has resigned as Chief Executive Officer of the National Pork Producers Council, effective Oct. 15, 2001. Tank's resignation brings to conclusion a decade of work with NPPC, including the last 4 ½ years as CEO.

"Al has made significant contributions to the advancement of the U.S. pork industry," says NPPC President Barb Determan, a producer from Early, Iowa. "In time of unprecedented change and challenge in the pork industry, he led our organization with skill, determination and a keen vision for the future. His skill enabled us to serve pork producers with programs and services to enhance their businesses, to grow demand for pork both domestically and internationally, as well as to effectively address a wide range of serious industry challenges including the environment, pork safety and biosecurity."

The U.S. pork industry is now experiencing its fifth year of growth in domestic demand. At the same time, 2001 is the tenth consecutive year of record pork exports, which has positioned the U.S. as the second largest pork exporter in the world.

"Now is the right time to depart and create the opportunity for new leadership," Tank states. "The checkoff has been protected and the National Pork Board has a new CEO in place. Now, NPPC with the active involvement of producer and industry leaders must develop and implement the organizational blueprint to serve the pork industry. This is a time of unprecedented challenges and unlimited opportunities for the U.S. pork industry. I believe that NPPC and the National Pork Board are well positioned to address these challenges and capture the opportunities."

Determan said NPPC would act to fill the CEO position soon. "Our intent is to hire a new CEO very quickly," Determan says. "We want it clearly understood that the decision to leave at this time is Al's decision - and his decision alone - which was reluctantly accepted by the board of directors," Determan continues. "He strongly believes this decision is in the best interest of pork producers, the pork industry and NPPC.”

Tank's tenure with the National Pork Producers Council began in the international trade and export arena as the director of foreign trade. Shortly thereafter, he was promoted to vice president of public policy and foreign trade, which included management of NPPC's Washington, D.C. office. Tank was named CEO in March 1997.

NPPC