Myrtle pork producer David Newman was elected president of the National Pork Board at the organization’s June board meeting in Des Moines, Iowa.
“The U.S. pork industry is facing a time of unprecedented change and I look forward to serving America’s 60,000 pig farmers in the year ahead,” said Newman. “From preparing the global food industry for the threats facing us from foreign animal disease, implementing our Secure Pork Supply plan and driving home our messages of what sustainable pig production looks like in the U.S. and abroad, I cannot wait to lead the Pork Checkoff in delivering value to our producers.”
Newman is in his second term as a board member and owns and operates a farrow-to-finish Berkshire farm in Myrtle, that markets pork directly to consumers throughout the United States. Serving with Newman on Pork Checkoff’s executive officer team are Mike Skahill, from Williamsburg, Va., as vice president; Gene Noem, Ames, Iowa, as treasurer; and Steve Rommereim, Alcester, S.D., as immediate past president.
“In the year ahead, the Pork Checkoff will focus on redefining itself as we execute our new strategic plan,” Newman says. “We will do this through increased collaboration with the producers who fund our programs. Our priorities remain clear: delivering value to our producer and supply chain partners, building consumer trust and driving continuous improvement on the farm.”
The four executive officers will serve one-year terms in their positions effective at the close of the June board meeting. Newman is an associate professor of Animal Sciences at Arkansas State University where he teaches and conducts research, with an emphasis in meat science. Newman 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.
He is not the first in south central Missouri to hold a high profile in the pork industry.
In 1966, Rolland “Pig” Paul, who now lives in Willow Springs, was among a group of young pork producers that organized and ultimately created the National Pork Producer’s Council by the end of that decade. That movement spawned the Pork Checkoff and Paul later moved to Howell County where he did much to promote feeder pig production in the area.
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. Skahill is in his second term on the board, most recently serving as board treasurer. He serves on the NPB 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 Noem is the owner of KD Feeders near Ames, Iowa, a wean-to-finish operation that markets 20,000 pigs annually. Noem also manages the contracted gilt multiplication for PIC North America. Noem is in his second term on the board, most recently serving on the 2020 Strategic Planning Task Force and co-chairing a joint We Care task force with the National Pork Producers Council. Noem also serves on the Iowa Pork Producers Association board of directors and on its promotions committee.
Steve Rommereim, past president Rommereim most recently served as 2018-19 board president. Rommereim is the owner, manager and operator of Highland Swine, which markets 12,000 pigs annually and grows corn and soybeans on 1,600 acres. Rommereim and his family are also part owners in SDI Pork LLC, which finishes 120,000 hogs annually. During his tenure on the NPB he has served 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 the South Dakota Animal Industry Board and was just elected to the U.S. Animal Health Association.
The National Pork Board’s 15 producer-directors represent America’s pig farmers.