The National Pork Board is comprised of 15 pork producers or importers, nominated by Pork Act Delegates at the National Pork Forum and appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. The board collects the National Pork Checkoff funds and uses those dollars to implement programs of promotion, research and consumer information designed to enhance the marketing of U.S. pork and pork products.
David Newman, President – Arkansas
David Newman is in his second term as a board member and owns and operates a farrow-to-finish Berkshire farm in Myrtle, Missouri, that markets pork directly to consumers throughout the U.S. Dave is also an associate professor of Animal Sciences at Arkansas State University where he teaches and conducts research, with an emphasis in meat science. He most recently served as board vice president, on the 2020 Strategic Planning Task Force, and on the Swine Health committee. He previously chaired the Domestic Marketing committee, served on the Producer Services committee and participated in Pork Leadership Academy.
Michael Skahill, Vice President – Virginia
Michael Skahill is a vice president for Smithfield Foods. Smithfield is a U.S.-based global food company and the world’s largest pork producer and processor annually marketing 16 million pigs. Mike is in his second term on the board, most recently serving as board treasurer. He serves on the National Pork Board International Marketing committee, the U.S. Meat Export Federation Pork Allied Industries committee and chairs the trade committee for the North American Meat Institute.
Gene Noem, Treasurer – Iowa
Gene Noem finishes hogs at JMG Farms in Howard County. Gene also manages the contracted gilt multiplication for PIC North America. He is in his second term on the board, most recently serving on the 2020 Strategic Planning Task Force and co-chairing a joint We CareSM task force with the National Pork Producers Council. Gene also serves on the Iowa Pork Producers Association board of directors and on its promotions committee.
Steve Rommereim, Past President – South Dakota
Steve Rommereim, of Alcester, South Dakota, is the owner, manager and operator of Highland Swine, which markets 12,000 pigs annually and grows corn and soybeans on 1,600 acres. Steve and his family are also part owners in SDI Pork LLC, which finishes 120,000 hogs annually. During his tenure on the National Pork Board, he has served in each officer role and on numerous committees, including the 2020 Strategic Planning Task Force. He is past president of the South Dakota Pork Producers Association, and currently serves on South Dakota Animal Industry Board and was just elected to the U.S. Animal Health Association.
Gary Asay – Illinois
Gary Asay owns and manages Asay Farms, a wean-to-finish operation in Illinois. Asay Farms markets 9,500 hogs annually. He also raises corn and soybeans. Gary most recently served on the Illinois Pork Producers Association board of directors and was a director for the National Pork Producers Council. He is an Operation Main Street speaker and a member of the Illinois Soybean Association and the Illinois Corn Growers Association.
Deborah Ballance – North Carolina
Deborah Ballance owns and operates Legacy Farms, a farrow-to-finish hog operation near Fremont, North Carolina. Legacy Farms raises hogs and cattle and grows corn, soybeans and hay. She currently serves on the Pork Checkoff’s Domestic Marketing committee. Deb is a member of the North Carolina Pork Council and North Carolina Farm Bureau (Wayne County) Board of Directors.
Richard Deaton – Ohio
Richard Deaton is a sales representative for PIC – a seedstock producer located in Tennessee. In addition to serving on numerous statewide committees, he has served as an Ohio Pork Council director from 2011 to 2014, as on officer since 2015, including as president from 2017 to 2018. He currently serves as the past president of the Ohio Pork Council. Additionally, he served as a Pork Act Delegate in 2013, 2015, 2018 and 2019.
Todd Erickson – North Dakota
Todd Erickson is the general manager of North Dakota Sow Cooperative Management, LLC, a 12,500 head farrow-to-wean farm that markets 300,000 pigs annually. Todd is active in the North Dakota Pork Council and served on the board from 2003 to 2012. He was president of the organization in 2010 and 2011. He is a graduate of the Pork Leadership Academy.
Pat FitzSimmons – Minnesota
Patrick FitzSimmons is a partner in Protein Sources Management and Milling. Alongside his six brothers and two sisters, Pat grows corn and soybeans and manages the flow of F & H Pork, a farrow-to-finish farm in Minnesota. F & H Pork markets 30,000 market hogs and 12,000 replacement gilts a year. He has been a Pork Quality Assurance Plus and Transport Quality Assurance advisor and is active on the Minnesota Pork Board and the Minnesota Pork Producers Association, serving as president. He has served on the National Pork Board’s Producer State Services committee and is an Operation Main Street speaker. He is also involved with the Wright County Pork Producers and the Cokato Dassel Lions Club.
Heather Hill – Indiana
Heather Hill is a co-owner of Hill Farms in Greenfield, Indiana, a farrow-to-finish operation that markets 32,000 pigs annually. Hill Farms also grows corn, soybeans and wheat. She is a former president of the Indiana Pork Board and has been actively involved since 2009. She also serves the National FFA Career Development Sales committee and is a leader for the local 4-H chapter. Heather is an Operation Main Street speaker.
Bill Luckey – Nebraska
Bill Luckey, a fourth-generation farmer, owns a wean-to-finish operation in Columbus, Nebraska, and partial ownership of a sow farm. Bill is responsible for the daily care of 740 nursery pigs and 1,400 finisher pigs. In addition, his family operates a 2,000 head custom contract finisher and markets 10,000 pigs annually. He also grows corn, soybeans and cattle on 700 acres. Bill is serving his first term on the National Pork Board and also serves on the board of directors for the Swine Health Information Center. He has been active on numerous National Pork Board committees, currently chairing the International Marketing committee. He is an Operation Main Street speaker and has served on the National Pork Producers Council board of directors (2008 to 2014) and on the Nebraska Pork Producers Association board of directors (2001 to 2007). He was president of the NPPA board from 2006 to 2007.
Russ Nugent – Arkansas
Russ Nugent, of Lowell, Arkansas, has worked at Tyson Foods since 1992. He is currently the Director of Technical Services where he is responsible for veterinary/health, nutrition, genetics, welfare and sustainability. Over the years, he has had a variety of responsibilities within the live swine division. Russ has served on the National Pork Board Swine Health committee since 2012 (and as chair from 2014 to 2018) and numerous task forces and groups including Swine Health Information Center Funding committee, Feed Biosecurity Risk committee and the PEDV strategic taskforce for the National Pork Producers Council, American Association of Swine Veterinarians and the National Pork Board.
Alicia Pedemonti – New Hampshire
Alicia Pedemonti operates a small, diversified farm with her family in Hopkinton, New Hampshire. She also works as a veterinary technician for the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food. Her family markets more than 100 pigs directly to consumers on an annual basis. Alicia currently serves as the executive director of the Northeast Pork Association and has served on several National Pork Board committees and task forces over the years including the nominating committee and Producer/Public Health and Workplace Safety committee and as a Pork Act Delegate.
Scott Phillips – Missouri
Scott Phillips owns and operates Phillips Farms in Drexel, Missouri. Phillips Farms is a farrow-to-finish operation that markets 54,000 pigs annually. Scott also grows corn and soybeans on his family farm. He is active in the Missouri Pork Producers Association having served as chair from 2015 to 2016, and as treasurer and secretary. In addition, Scott has served on the Pork Checkoff’s Producer Services and Communications committee and as a Pork Act Delegate from 2002 to 2016. He is currently the Missouri Pork Association representative to U.S. Meat Export Federation and serves on the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance board of directors.
Bill Tentinger – Iowa
Bill Tentinger and his wife own and manage Tentinger Farms located near Le Mars, Iowa. Tentinger Farms is a wean-to-finish operation that markets 45,000 hogs annually. In addition to raising pigs, Bill also grows corn and soybeans. At the state level, he has served on the Iowa Pork Producers Association board of directors, and as its president in 2012. He participated in National Pork Board’s plan of work in 2010 and 2014 and as a Pork Act delegate from 2005 to 2013. Bill is an Operation Main Street speaker and gives back to his local community by serving on civic committees, business and church boards.