Twenty-four U.S. pork producers have been selected for the Pork Leadership Academy, a program sponsored by the pork checkoff to identify and train industry leaders.

“Through the Pork Leadership Academy program, the checkoff is helping build new leaders who will work with both consumers and other producers,” says Dawn Jarolimek, chair of the National Pork Board’s Producer and State Relations Committee and a pork producer from Forest River, ND.

Participants are selected by their individual states and represent different production styles. Producers are trained to be spokespeople who can talk about the accomplishments of the pork industry and communicate one-on-one with producers about issues facing the pork industry.

This year’s participants include: Rachelle Bailey, Trulock, CA; Keith Penry, Parker, CO; Charles Griffin, Camilla, GA; Michael Haag, Emington, IL; Randy Curless, Wabash, IN; Greg Schroeder, LeMars, IA; David Bickett, Utica, KY; Allison Lemoine, Baton Rouge, LA; Erin Ehinger, Holland, MI; Scott Dethlefsen, Fergus Falls, MN; Brad Stevermer, Easton, MN; Chad Hogue, Clinton, MS; Marcus Belshe, Henley, MO; Greg Wortman, Creighton, NE; Jimmy McLamb, Clinton, NC; Tim Stebbins, Englewood, OH; Kurt Good, Denver, PA; Eric Staton, Manning, SC; Darin Larson, Beresford, SD; Christopher Rea, Martin, TN; Rob English, Milford, UT; Mike Ashby, Blacksburg, VA; Jonathon Wyttenbach, Sauk City, WI; and Shawn Shmidl, Albin, WY.

These producers will attend five meetings during their year in the program, each focusing on different issues including a pork checkoff program update.