A farmer and pork production executive from Algona, IA, has been elected president of the National Pork Board. Conley Nelson was named to the top post during the board’s meeting prior to World Pork Expo last week in Des Moines, IA.

Nelson, the Pork Board’s vice president previously, owns a 4,400-head, wean-to-finish operation on a farm that has been in the family for more than 120 years. He also serves as general manager of the Murphy-Brown LLC Midwest operation that oversees 75,000 sows and markets 3.4 million hogs a year.

 

Nelson succeeds Everett Forkner, a pork producer from Richards, MO, who will continue on the board as immediate past president.

Nelson says he hopes to use his experience as a smaller producer and as a production manager for one of the nation’s largest pork production companies to help the board guide pork producers through some challenging times facing the pork industry. “Our strategic plan is dedicated to preserving the ability of producers to make decisions about what works best for their farms and their animals,” he says. “We’re seeing an increasing number of examples where those outside production agriculture are trying to dictate how we care for our animals. As pork producers we must stay unified. I will work to assure that all producers regardless of size of their operation or their production style, have a voice in these decisions.”

Nelson adds that pork producers must continue to build trust with customers through demonstrating commitment to continuous improvement. Don’t lose sight of the importance of telling success stories in producing more pork for a hungry world using fewer natural resources.

Karen Richter, a pork producer from Montgomery, MN, was elected vice president. Richter has been the board’s treasurer the past year. She operates a 185-sow, farrow-to-finish operation and markets 3,300 hogs per year, while also raising corn, soybeans and wheat on 650 acres.

Dale Norton, a pork producer from Bronson, MI, was elected treasurer. He is a partner in Kendale Farms, a 1,450-sow, farrow-to-wean operation and a farrow-to-finish operation that markets 31,500 hogs annually. In addition, he is involved in a cow-calf operation and raises corn, soybeans, hay, canning tomatoes, peppers for processing and seed corn on over 3,000 acres. Norton is a board member and past president of the Michigan Pork Producers Association.