Doing what’s best for people, pigs and the planet has been at the core of decades of continuous improvement in the pork industry. From producing leaner pork to reducing pork’s carbon footprint, dynamic individuals have stepped up and worked together to positively impact pig farmers’ ability to produce high-quality pork.

Pork Act delegates at the National Pork Industry Forum, held in Indianapolis March 3-5, will honor one of those visionaries with this year’s Distinguished Service Award. Recipient Darrell Anderson has turned many ideas into reality, with much of his efforts focused on improving pork quality and developing future pork industry leaders to help ensure continued advancements.

Youth programs that help develop future pork industry leaders have always been a focus for Darrell Anderson, who is this year’s Distinguished Service Award recipient.

At the helm of the Yorkshire Breed Association, Anderson was instrumental in developing the Swine Testing and Genetic Evaluations System, or STAGES, which allows producers to evaluate seedstock. Anderson also helped create the National Swine Registry (NSR), serving as its first CEO. The NSR brought the Duroc, Hampshire and Yorkshire – and later Landrace – associations under one umbrella to better serve producers of all four breeds.

Youth programs have benefited from Anderson’s forward thinking, as well. While at the National Swine Registry, he played a pivotal role in forming the National Junior Swine Association (NJSA). With over 13,000 members with a passion for pigs, the NJSA prepares and develops youth to be future pork industry leaders.

Join me in congratulating Anderson as this year’s Distinguished Service Award recipient. With his penchant for strategic planning and consensus-building leadership, he truly has left his fingerprint on decades of industry progress.