Meet the 2013 Masters of the Pork Industry and Prepare to be Inspired


The May issue of National Hog Farmer typically serves as a reflective look at the U.S. pork industry.  We strive to approach stories from a “big picture” perspective.  Since 2006, National Hog Farmer has profiled a hand-picked group of pork industry leaders. These Masters of the Pork Industry share their personal stories and philosophies, reflect on their careers and share their thoughts about the future of the pork industry

If you aren’t familiar with the Masters stories, I strongly urge you to take a few minutes to browse through them to learn more about these inspiring individuals.

Read the “back stories” about how some well-known pork industry folks went from bucket carriers and manure pitchers, to becoming leaders of some of the largest, most respected pork production systems, schools and organizations in the country.  Though some of this year’s Masters class profess to be “behind –the-scenes guys,” it’s clear from the respect they have earned from peers, students and others within the industry that all have learned how to lead by example while serving the pork industry.

Click on the descriptions below to read these inspiring storiesabout the 2013 Masters of the Pork Industry:

Bradley Wolter, chief operating officer at The Maschhoffs Inc., is a swine enthusiast who has been focused on better pig-raising methods from an early age.

Malcolm DeKryger, president of Belstra Milling Co., is supervising the construction of a new, open-to-the-public type of hog farm and the country’s first Pig Adventure.

Robert Thaler, South Dakota State University Extension swine specialist, is a humble leader who has served the pork industry in many capacities during his 25-year tenure.

Jim Meimann, former senior vice president of governance and operations at the National Pork Board, is content to let the spotlight shine on others.

Rodney "Butch" Baker, DVM, senior clinician and professor in the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, is a lifelong learner who has enjoyed the challenges of changing careers.

Jeff Hansen, founder and CEO of Iowa Select Farms, is a business entrepreneur who paid his tuition through the school of hard knocks.

I know you will enjoy reading these stories as much as I did. Visit the Web site to learn more about past Masters of the Pork Industry, too.  Perhaps now would be a good time to pause and reflect on what motivated you to become part of the pork industry. What is your vision for the industry’s future? If you have thoughts you would like to share about your own career and pig-related experiences, post them in the “Comment” section below, or email  Thank you for being part of the pork production family!



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