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Pork Producers Gain Voice on Iowa EPC

by 5m Editor
21 November 2008, at 7:30am

IOWA - A veterinarian, long-time pork producer and past president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission (EPC), a nine-person body that provides policy oversight of Iowa’s environmental efforts.

Dr. Eugene Ver Steeg of Inwood has been selected to begin an immediate term that will continue through April 30, 2011. The position requires an active grain or livestock farmer.

“We’ve always been concerned about protecting the environment on our farm and, along those lines, I’ve had a desire to serve on the EPC and I hope that we continue to keep our water and air clean in Iowa,” Ver Steeg said.

The appointment was announced on Wednesday (November 19) by Govenor Chet Culver.

“I am confident that Dr. Ver Steeg will be a great addition to the Environmental Protection Commission,” said Culver. “He has a tremendous amount of experience, including over 25 years in the farming industry. I look forward to working with Dr. Ver Steeg as the newest member of the EPC."

Mr Ver Steeg owns and manages Sunnycrest, Inc., a wean-to-finish hog business, and he says he hopes to give livestock producers in general and pork producers in particular a stronger voice on the EPC.

“Because of the fact that I have devoted my entire life to livestock and farming, I think it’s only appropriate that I would represent the livestock industry on the commission, speak up for it when it’s needed and cooperate with the rest of the commission,” Ver Steeg said.

Mr Ver Steeg has replaced Ralph Klemme from LeMars. Klemme resigned his position in September, citing the EPC’s increasing tilt against agriculture.

“With the help of some others, maybe we can get that rectified and get the commission back to being more livestock friendly,” Ver Steeg added.

Mr Ver Steeg graduated from South Dakota State University in 1962, received his doctorate of veterinary medicine from Iowa State University in 1966 and practiced as a veterinarian until 1981. He has been farming since 1980 and has been active with the state and national pork producer organizations. Ver Steeg served as IPPA president in 2006.

The appointment will be subject to Senate confirmation during the 2009 legislative session.