Checkoff Selected Leadership Program Participants

US - Twenty US pork producers were selected to participate in Pork Leadership Academy (PLA), a program sponsored by the Pork Checkoff, which is used to identify and train swine industry leaders.
calendar icon 2 June 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

"Through the Pork Leadership Academy program, the Checkoff is helping build new leaders who will work with both consumers and other producers," said Bill Kessler, chair of the Pork Checkoff Producer and State Relations Committee and PLA graduate from Mexico, Missouri.

PLA participants were chosen by their individual states and represent different production styles. The Checkoff provides initial leadership training, as well as long-term support for preparing presentations and interviews to the media or people in their community. Pork Leadership Academy focuses on training producers to be spokespeople who can relay accomplishments of the pork industry to the public. PLA also teaches producers how to communicate one-on-one with other producers about issues facing the pork industry.

During their first meeting, PLA participants will receive Pork Quality Assurance Plus® (PQA Plus®) training. The PQA Plus program provides pork producers with information on production practices that uphold consumer expectations regarding food safety and animal care. The participants will also learn how to be better prepared for a crisis on their farms.

2009 Pork Leadership Academy participants include:

Fitzhugh Bethea, South Carolina
Chris Britton, Alabama
Dereke Dunkirk, Illinois
Mark Ebaugh, Pennsylvania
Todd Erickson, North Dakota
Devin Gandy, Louisiana
Tommy Goodwin, Idaho
Bradley Hohn, South Dakota
Aaron Kavan, Nebraska
Lee Letsch, Oregon
Todd Marotz, Minnesota
Brady Otto, California
Derrick Sleezer, Iowa
Tim Steinkamp, Missouri
Scot Strauss, Wisconsin
Jim Webb, Utah
Neill Westerbeek, North Carolina
Andy White, Michigan
Chuck Wildman, Ohio
Mark York, Indiana

These producers will attend five Pork Leadership Academy meetings throughout the year. Each meeting will focus on a different swine related issue, and will include a Checkoff program update.

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