Clearfield, IA, pork producer Steve Kerns was inducted into the Iowa State University (ISU) Animal Science Hall of Fame last week.
“Steve Kerns has provided outstanding leadership for the livestock industry in Iowa and is a strong supporter of animal science programs at Iowa State,” says Maynard Hogberg, department chair of the animal science department. “He has been an entrepreneur, an early adopter of technology and a leader in swine seedstock production. We greatly appreciate his support and contributions to Iowa State.”
Kerns and his wife Becky operate a family farm near Clearfield, along with sons Karl and Matt. While a student at Iowa State, Kerns was one of the first in the nation to do ultrasound scanning of pigs as a part-time job.
After graduation in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in animal science, Kerns expanded his interest to various areas of swine breeding. He became an innovator in the use of frozen boar semen and now also works with cloning pigs. Kerns has been a Landrace breeder and purebred genetic supplier for nearly 40 years and supplied genetics to and consulted with pork producers in many countries. He owns International Boar Semen in Eldora, IA, an artificial insemination company.
The Kerns family business has expanded and diversified to beef cattle, border collies and cockapoos. The dog business will help fund college expenses for Karl, a senior at Mt. Ayr Community High School, who plans to major in animal science at Iowa State. It will do the same for Matt, who will graduate in two years.
Kerns has served as president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA), attended IPPA international marketing trips and serves on various committees on the National Pork Board and National Pork Producers Council. In 2000, he and Becky were presented the Master Seedstock Producer Award.
Kerns serves on the ISU animal science department’s external advisory board and has been a screening committee member for animal science faculty hires.
In 2009, he was honored by the Iowa Pork Industry Center for his support as a member of their advisory board.
Kerns also serves on an advisory committee for the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine.