2020 Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Mike Paustian

Mike began serving a one-year term as IPPA president in January 2020. This eastern Iowa producer has a farrow-to-finish hog business near Walcott and markets 22,000 head annually. Paustian Enterprises also has 2,400 acres of corn and soybeans. Mike attended Iowa State University, majoring in microbiology. He received a Ph.D from the University of Minnesota. Mike was first elected to the board in 2015.

Dennis Liljedahl

Dennis annually raises 2,500 to 3,000 hogs in a farrow-to-finish business near Essex in Page County. He also raises 2,500 acres of corn and soybeans. He was instrumental in re-organizing the Page County Pork Producers and he has served continuously on the county board, holding all offices. Dennis supports the Page County Fair by serving as assistant swine superintendent. Liljedahl has been honored with the Page County Hog Wild Award and he was named a Master Pork Producer by IPPA in 1994.  He graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in animal science.

Trent Thiele
Past President

Trent is a partner in KMAX Farms, LLC, in Howard county, where he manages 19 KMAX finishing barns in a wean-to-finish hog business that markets 60,000 head a year. He also helps with the farms’ 3,500 acres of corn and soybeans, while managing his own 80 acres of corn and soybeans and 100-head cow herd near Elma. Trent’s active at the county fair with grillings and pork promotion activities and helps with hog show weigh-ins.

Dwight Mogler
VP of Resources/District 1 Director

Dwight is a partner with several family members in Mogler Farms/Pig Hill in Lyon County. They have 3,000 sows and market 90,000 pigs wean-to-finish per year. The farm enterprise also includes 2,500 acres of corn and soybeans. He was named a Master Pork Producer by IPPA in 1982 and he received the Pork All-American Award in 1997. Mogler is a graduate of Iowa State University with a major in agricultural business.

Kevin Rasmussen
VP of Operations/District 2 Director

Rasmussen and his wife Lisa own Owl Lake Production Company, which finishes 8,000 hogs a year. He also raises 1,100 acres of corn each year. Humboldt County doesn’t have an organized pork association, so the Rasmussens have taken it upon themselves to promote pork and the industry in the county and tell their story to civic groups and other organizations. Kevin has actively served on various IPPA committees. He is a Master Pork Producer and the Iowa Farm Bureau once named Kevin and Lisa the state’s Outstanding Young Farm Couple. In 2018, he was a national finalist for Pig Farmer of the Year. He studied agriculture and farm operations at Iowa State University.

James Hogan
VP of Producer Services/District 4 Director

Hogan has a 22,000-head swine finishing business at J & P Pork near Monticello in Jones County.  He also raises corn and soybeans on 2,700 acres. James has been a member of the Jones County Pork Producers for 40 years. Hogan is a past 4-H leader, past board member of the Jones County Beef Producers, and served for 10 years as a member of the great Jones County Fair Board. James is a graduate of Kirkwood Community College.

Matt Gent
VP of Market Development/District 8 Director

Matt and his family have a farrow-to-finish swine enterprise near Wellman. The Gents also raise corn and soybeans. He has been an Iowa Pork Producers Association delegate and was named a Master Pork Producer in 2015 by IPPA. Gent has served on the Washington County Pork Producers Board of Directors since 2010, serving as vice president in 2012 and president in 2013. In addition to his pork relationships, Matt is a member of the Iowa Corn Growers Association.

Gene Noem
National Pork Board Director

Noem has worked in the swine industry his entire life. Today, he finishes hogs at JMG Farms in Howard County and is the Director of the North American Supply Chain for PIC, a division of Genus PLC, which provides genetic improvement to pig farmers across the globe. Gene is a member of the Story County Pork Producers and also serves on the IPPA Promotions Committee. On a national level, he was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to serve on the National Pork Board, where he was elected as treasurer. Noem is a graduate of South Dakota State University with a degree in animal science.

Bill Tentinger
National Pork Board Director
Le Mars

Tentinger is a past president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association. He has farmed and raised hogs near Le Mars in Plymouth County for nearly 50 years. He and his wife, Joan, run a farrow-to-finish business and have 350 sows that produce 7,200 pigs each year. They also purchase an additional 3,000 iso-wean pigs that are finished, increasing their total number of hogs marketed annually to 10,000. He feeds pigs from his corn and soybeans acres. In 2019, the Tentingers were named a Master Pork Producer by the Iowa Pork Producers Association. Bill is a member of the Plymouth County Pork Producers, the Iowa Soybean Association, American Soybean Association, Iowa Corn Growers and Farm Bureau.

Al Wulfekuhle
National Pork Board Director

Wulfekuhle served as president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association in 2016 and remains active within the organization. Al and his wife, Kathy, began their farming career near the unincorporated town of Monti in 1979. Today they own and operate G&W Pork, an 1,800-sow, farrow-to-finish farm that markets 45,000 pigs annually. They also raise corn and soybeans, run their own feed mill, and transport their pigs. Outside of work on the farm, Wulfekuhle is chairman of the National Swine Disease Council and was previously on numerous National Pork Board committees; serves on Iowa State University advisory boards for the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine and Iowa Pork Industry Center; and is collaborating with Iowa State University to start a porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) control research project.

Dale Reicks
National Pork Producers Council Director

Dale and his wife, Laura, founded Reicks View Farms in the late 1970s near Lawler. As 5th generation pork producers, they began with 240 acres of corn along with 200 sows. The production system has grown over the years to include sow units, a boar stud, nursery and finishing facilities. Reicks View Farms prides itself on being a family farm. Dale and Laura, their two children and more than 150 employees and 40 production partners continue to farm corn as well as produce top quality pork.

Jen Sorenson
National Pork Producers Council Director

Jen is the communications director for Iowa Select Farms based in Iowa Falls. She currently oversees internal and external communications, including corporate, stakeholder and employee communications, branding/marketing support, community relations and issues management. She’s also active in government relations and public affairs. Iowa Select has 700 swine farms across the state, 180,000 sows and produces more than one billion pounds of pork annually, making it Iowa’s largest pork producer and the 8th largest in the U.S. Sorenson attended Iowa State University.


Marv Van Den Top
NW Region Director

Marv owns Top Five, Inc., and raises 27,000 hogs a year in his swine finishing business in Sioux County. Four hundred acres of corn and soybeans round out his farming enterprise. Marv is a member of the Sioux County Pork Producers Board of Directors. He is a 2014-15 graduate of the Pork Leadership Institute. His community involvement includes service to the Rock Valley Rural Water Board. Van Den Top studied business at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City.

Trish Cook
NE Region Director

The Cook family owns and operates their family farm, CBL Farms, in Buchanan County. They have 1200 sows producing 30,000 pigs annually, and finish about 15,000 per year. The farm also includes 200 acres of corn. In 2009 she and her husband Aaron were named Master Pork Producers, and followed that in 2010 as IPPA Pork All Americans. They have also received the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award.  Trish is a 24-year member of the county pork producers and served as a county board member. She has actively hosted events at the farm to provide a transparent look at pork production. She has an accounting degree from Iowa State University and an MBA from the University of Iowa.

Mike Deahr
SE Region Director
West Liberty

Deahr is a pig farmer with a farrow-to-finish operation and a row crop operation near in Muscatine County. Deahr has previously served on the IPPA board in 2010-2011. He is serving in an interim capacity in the position formerly held by Mike Paustian of Walcott. Paustian was elected to the President-elect position in January 2019.

Jason Hocker, DVM
SW Region Director

Jason is a partner in AMVC Management Services in Audubon and director of grow-finish swine health. He manages 115,000 sows and 1.3 million market hogs in seven states for AMVC and serves as public relations lead for the company. Dr. Hocker is a Williamsburg native who earned a bachelor’s degree from Coe College in 2001. He continued his education at Iowa State University, earning a doctorate in veterinary medicine in 2005 and a master’s degree in veterinary microbiology in 2006. Hocker is a member of the Iowa and American Veterinary Medical associations and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians. In 2011, Jason was named to the Pfizer Animal Health “10 under 40” class.

Lowell Busch
District 3 Director

Lowell is a territory manager for the hog buying division of Lynch Livestock, headquartered in Waucoma. He also has a cow/calf operation, and grows corn and soybeans. Before joining Lynch in 2017, Lowell worked in the grow-finish department at Midwest-based Christensen Farms from 2004 to 2017. He is a member of the Bremer County Pork Producers, serving as secretary since 2018, as well as a member of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and a trustee for Leroy township in Bremer County. He earned a degree in agricultural business from Northwest Missouri State University.

Curtis Meier
District 5 Director (interim)

Curtis served as IPPA president in 2003 and 2017. He is the first person to hold the post twice. He and his wife, Brenda, along with their son and son-in-law, have a diversified farming enterprise consisting of a 160-sow farrow-to-finish swine business, 1,100-head of beef cattle and 3,000 acres of corn and soybeans. IPPA named him a Master Pork Producer in 1974.

In addition to his involvement with IPPA, Curtis has served on several National Pork Board committees and is a presenter for the Operation Main Street program. He also takes part in local organizations, including the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Corn and Soybean Growers, Farm Bureau, church and school. He has held the position of Page County Fair Board swine superintendent and is a Page County Soil and Water Conservation District commissioner. He also serves as a township trustee.

Ryan Pudenz
District 6 Director

Ryan is the general manager of Prestage Farms of Iowa in Ames. He belongs to the Story County Pork Producers and has served on the Iowa Pork Producers Association membership/Leadership Committee for five years. Pudenz has served as a National Pork Producers Council Pork Forum delegate for the past five years and been a Pork Act delegate for the National Pork Board for a year. He has twice attended NPPC’s Legislative Action Conference and he has participated in the Pork Leadership Institute. Ryan also serves the industry as a PQA Plus advisor and is on the Iowa Pork Industry Center Advisory Board. He is a member of the Iowa State University Iowa Swine Day Program Committee as well. Pudenz has a bachelor’s degree in animal science from ISU.

Patrick Gannon
District 7 Director

Pat and his wife Diane own and operate a farrow-to-finish farm with 5,000 head in Jasper County. He also farms 2000 acres of corn and soybeans. He is a strong believer in family-owned hog farms and believes they are a safe and secure way for providing opportunity for young producers in the future. He is an Iowa State University graduate with a double major in ag business and agronomy.

Stan Cavner
Iowa Falls

Cavner is a Financial Officer for Farm Credit Services of America. He consults with pork producers in financing their operations with both short and long-term capital needs. Stan knows and has a passion for the swine industry. His career spans over 30 years with: Purina Mills as a Commercial Swine District Manager;  APC Inc., as a Technical Sales Manager; then joining FCSA in 2004. He understands the swine industry from several fronts, production, nutrition, health, and finance. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Wayne State College, Wayne, Nebr.

Jarrod Bakker

Raising pigs has been a life-long passion for Jarrod Bakker. He grew up on a farrow-to-finish pig farm and now, along with his wife, Shari, and brother, Jordan, owns Bakker Bros. Genetics, a 50-sow farm that markets 1,000 pigs annually. Bakker also works for Fast Genetics, where he sells breeding stock to farmers across the country.

Rod Leman
Fort Dodge

Rod is the Director of Business Development with Cactus Family Farms (CFF), the pork division of Cactus Feeders Inc., based in Amarillo, Texas. He has been with the company in various roles since 1992. CFF owns 35,000 sows in Iowa, South Carolina, and Georgia. It operates wean-to-finish facilities in Iowa, South Carolina, and Nebraska, marketing more than 850,000 pigs each year. Rod is a member of the Webster County Pork Producers. For more than a decade, he has spoken to civic groups and high school students on behalf of the pork industry through the Pork Checkoff’s Operation Main Street program. He also serves as a Transport Quality Assurance® (TQA®) adviser. Rod is a past member of the Iowa Pork Producers Association’s (IPPA) Public Relations Committee and current member of the IPPA Public Policy Committee. He is a graduate of what’s now known as the Iowa Pork Leadership Academy, as well as the National Pork Producers Council’s Pork Leadership Academy. A native of Minnesota, Rod earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and computer science from the University of Minnesota Morris.

Ex-officio Directors

The Honorable Mike Naig
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture
Dr. Jason Ross
Iowa Pork Industry Center
Dr. Dan Thomson
Animal Science Department
Iowa State University
Dr. Dan Grooms
College of Veterinary Medicine
Iowa State University