USDA 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 Forkner, Richards, Mo. - Second term
  • Julie Maschhoff, Carlyle, Ill.- First term
  • Derrick Sleezer, Cherokee, Iowa - First term
  • Wathina Luthi, Gage, Okla.- First term
  • Steven Wuergler, Drain, Ore. - First term

Forkner was recently elected vice president of the NPB by his fellow board members. He is the owner and president of Forkner Farms which has 500 purebred sows and markets 8,000 hogs per year. He has sold hogs in 27 countries. He also raises corn, soybeans and wheat on 2,000 acres.

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 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.

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 NPB’s  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. 

Luthi is co-owner of Luthi Farms LLC. Luthi Farms 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 and OMS.2 speaker. Her farm was the recipient of the 2004 National Environmental Steward Award.

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 NPB’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.

Source: NPB