John Mabry, director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State University, was recognized as the winner of the distinguished service award at the National Pork Industry Forum in Phoenix, March 3-5, 2011. The award is given annually to recognize the lifelong contribution to the pork industry made by an outstanding leader.

“When John entered the industry with genetic consulting work, there was a real need out there to help people develop breeding systems and genetic systems that would maximize the heterosis and reproduction values,” says Everett Forkner, a pork producer from Richards, MO, and National Pork Board vice president. “He brought that to the industry in a timely fashion and covered a need that was there. He helped to direct the genetic programs and systems that were not there. Through those efforts, John had a large influence on the betterment of the pork industry.”

Mabry’s keen insight and experience has provided him with broad perspective on the pork industry’s past, present and its future.

“I think it is going to be important that we position ourselves so we can be economically sustainable, but if we don’t look out at the environment we operate in, if we don’t keep our social aspects in line, we are not going to be allowed to produce,” Mabry says. “I think we are really going to have to work hard, not only to do our job right, but also to promote ourselves properly, and survive in a new paradigm.”

Mabry was honored by the National Pork Board, which has responsibility for checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. For more information on checkoff-funded programs, call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or visit www.pork.org.