The National Pork Board has elected Wayne Peugh, a pork producer from Edelstein, Ill., as its new president. He succeeds Danita Rodibaugh, an Indiana producer who remains on the board. Board members also elected Lynn Harrison, a producer from Elk Mound, Wis., vice president. Both will serve one year terms.
"We achieved great success under Danita's leadership," Peugh says, "and I welcome the challenge of building on that success.
"With producers' investment in the Pork Checkoff, we completed a major nutritional study that found that not only are most major cuts of pork considerably leaner than they were just 15 years ago, but that a serving of pork tenderloin is as lean as a serving of boneless, skinless chicken breast. This is incredibly positive news for the future of our producers and we will be promoting this aggressively to consumers.
"We completed the first year of our Don't be blah marketing program that builds on 20 years of success with The Other White Meat. The program is helping us reach the young consumers who are making today's mealtime decisions and helping them to understand that they can use pork to make their meals more interesting. Early results are promising and we will be building on that with some innovative ways to reach consumers.
"On behalf of all producers," Peugh says, "we worked with the packers, restaurants and grocery stores that make up the pork chain to find a solution that assures everyone in the chain that U.S. pork producers are providing the best possible care for their animals. This is a considerable achievement in at least two ways. It is the first time I am aware of that a commodity organization has worked with the entire chain on the animal well-being issue. And it will help our producers remain competitive in both domestic and international markets.
"We'll have a big agenda in the next 12 months," Peugh says. "We will be launching our new Pork Quality Assurance Plus program to deliver on our animal care and well-being solution. We will be building on our tremendous success in export markets. We'll continue our ground-breaking work to assure pork safety. We'll continue our support of environmental stewardship. And we'll always be looking for ways we can maximize the value of the Pork Checkoff for all producers."
Peugh is an Illinois native and a graduate of the University of Illinois in agricultural economics. He began farming in Whiteside County in 1969 and moved to Peoria County in 1974. Peugh, and his wife, Edith, own and manage a farrow-to-finish operation with 3,000 sows. Leading Edge Pork LLC/Peugh Farms markets 60,000 hogs per year. They also raise corn and soybeans on 1,800 acres.
He is a former member and president of the Dunlap, Ill., school board. He has two daughters, three sons and eight grandchildren.