Eugene E. Leman of Dakota Dunes, SD, was presented with the Pork Checkoff Distinguished Service Award during the National Pork Industry Forum in Kansas City recently.

Leman was recognized for his 41-year career in meat packing and procurement, his strong support of industry organizations. Until his recent retirement, he served as senior group vice president of Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., a division of Tyson Foods, Inc. Leman was responsible for overseeing the company’s pork and beef business.

During his career, he made key contributions to the growth and diversification of IBP, Inc., acquired by Tyson Foods in 2001. Leman spent 17 years with Wilson Foods before joining IBP in 1981 to launch the company’s pork division. Under his leadership, IBP grew to be the country’s largest pork processor. Nearly 20 years later, he led IBP’s initiative to prepackage brand-name pork and beef products.

“Gene is one of the few people in the meat industry that has a thorough understanding of the entire pork industry,” proclaimed Tyson Foods’ Gary Machan.

The Distinguished Service award is presented annually to recognize the lifelong commitment of an outstanding leader, explains National Pork Board President Danita Rodibaugh.