The Pork Checkoff honored Sam Hines of Holt, Mich., as the winner of its Distinguished Service Award. Hines is the executive vice president of the Michigan Pork Producers Association. The Distinguished Service Award is given annually to recognize the lifelong contribution to the pork industry of an outstanding leader.
"Sam's hard work and passion for the pork industry benefited not only Michigan producers, but the industry as a whole," said Steve Weaver, a pork producer from Elk Grove, Calif., and National Pork Board president. "Sam has many accomplishments to his credit, including playing a role in pseudorabies eradication and being a member of the leadership group that established the National Pork Board's permanent office in Des Moines. He has always been there, leading the way, and using his gifts and knowledge to lead others to move the pork industry forward."
Another important accomplishment that many people credit Sam with is working to make the Pork Checkoff what it is today, even when circumstances arose that challenged it. Those circumstances included legal challenges to the constitutionality of the Pork Checkoff.
"The Checkoff could easily have ended through any one of those court decisions," said Jim Meimann, executive vice president, governance and operations for the Checkoff. "And yet Sam and the Michigan pork producers were always there making sure things were done right. I think without Sam's attention to this effort, we may not have a Checkoff today."