2022 Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Kevin Rasmussen

The Rasmussen family farm, Owl Lake Production Company near Goldfield, is operated by Kevin, his wife Lisa, and son, Joel. They finish 8,000 hogs per year and grow about 1,100 acres of corn and soybeans using conservation measures such as strip-till. 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 been on a member of the IPPA Board of Directors since 2018, when he was elected by pig farmers in his area to represent them as the District 2 Director. He became a member of the executive committee in 2019. He has served on several IPPA committees and has been chairman of two—the public relations and public policy 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.

Trish Cook

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.

Dennis Liljedahl
Past President

Dennis began serving a one-year term as IPPA president in January 2021. This southwest Iowa producer 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.

Ryan Pudenz
VP of Resources/District 6 Director

Ryan is the general manager of Prestage Farms of Iowa in Ames, and oversees finisher production in Iowa of 1.5 million hogs annually. He belongs to the Story County Pork Producers and has served on the Iowa Pork Producers Association membership/leadership committee for five years. He also serves on the swine health and well-being committee. Pudenz has served as a National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) Pork Forum delegate for the past eight years, and been a Pork Act delegate for the National Pork Board for five years. 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® adviser and is on the Iowa Pork Industry Center Advisory Board. He is a member of the Iowa State University (ISU) Iowa Swine Day Program Committee, as well. Pudenz has a bachelor’s degree in animal science from ISU in Ames.

Aaron Juergens
VP of Operations/SW Region Director

Aaron manages more than 100,000 nursery and finishing spaces for Sunburst Valley Farms near Carroll. He was named an Iowa Master Pork Producer in 2014, and serves on the organization’s finance and producer education committees. He also has participated in the Iowa Pork Leadership Academy and the National Pork Producers Council‘s Pork Leadership Institute, and has been an Operation Main Street speaker for more than 10 years. In 2009, Aaron and his brother, Peter, received the Iowa Environmental Steward Award, followed by the national Pork Industry Environmental Steward Award in 2010. In 2011, they were recognized with the first Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award by the state of Iowa. In addition, he is a member of Iowa Farm Bureau. Aaron earned a business management degree from Loras College in Dubuque.

Marv Van Den Top
VP of Producer Services/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. Marv studied business at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City.

Matt Gent
VP of Market Development/District 8 Director

Matt and his family have a farrow-to-finish swine enterprise—Prairie Pork—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 by IPPA in 2015. 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. He has an agriculture business degree from Kirkwood Community College. He and his wife, Courtney, have three young children.

Dwight Mogler
National Pork Board Director

Mogler 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 1996. Mogler is a graduate of Iowa State University with a major in agricultural business.

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 promotion 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.

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 (ISU) advisory boards for the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine and Iowa Pork Industry Center; and is collaborating with ISU to start a porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) control research project.

Rob Brenneman
National Pork Producers Council Director

John “Rob” Brenneman was elected to the National Pork Producers Council board of directors in 2021. He is owner and CEO of Brenneman Pork, a family-owned operation with 32,500 sows, marketing 1,250,000 pigs annually. Brenneman Pork also includes a crop enterprise consisting of 3,900 acres of corn and soybeans. Rob and his wife, Char, have four married children—each of them, along with their spouses, are involved in Brenneman Pork.

Jen Sorenson
National Pork Producers Council President

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.


photo of Mark MeirickMark Meirick
NE Region Director, Interim

Mark and his family have a finishing operation, along with 400 acres or corn and soybeans. His family is also part owner of a Paris Foods, which is a 5,000-sow farrow-to-finish operation, and he owns and manages Farmers Mill, Inc. with two brothers. Farmers Mill is a grain, feed, seed and fertilizer business. Mark has been active in his county pork producers group, and previously served as a district director of the IPPA board. He has an ag business degree from Iowa State University.

Mike Deahr
SE Region Director
West Liberty

Mike is a pig farmer with a farrow-to-finish operation and a row crop operation near in Muscatine County. He served on the IPPA board from 2010 to 2011, as well as in an interim capacity in the position formerly held by Mike Paustian of Walcott, who was elected to the president-elect position in January 2019.

Linda Schroeder
District 1 Director

Linda and her husband, Dean, produce 50,000 pigs annually as part of a wean-to-finish operation for Schroeder Pork. They also farm 900 acres of corn and soybeans. Linda has been a member of the Plymouth County Pork Producers for more than 30 years. She is currently serving on the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) promotion committee; is a graduate of the Iowa Pork Leadership Academy; and is a past winner of the Belle Ringer award from IPPA. In addition, she is a Pork Act delegate and a delegate to the National Pork Producers Council; a Farm Bureau member; and part of the county 4-H Youth Committee. Linda studied dental hygiene at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, S.D. The Schroeders have three adult children.

Rod Leman
District 2 Director
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. Since 2019, Rod has served as a stakeholder on the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) Board of Directors. In addition, he has served on and been a chairman of several IPPA committees, including public relations, public policy, and promotion. He is a graduate of what’s now known as the Iowa Pork Leadership Academy, as well as the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) Pork Leadership Institute. He also serves on the Marketing Committee for NPPC’s Strategic Investment Program.

Rod is a member of the Webster County Pork Producers. For more than a decade, he has spoken to civic, social, and student groups 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. A native of Minnesota, Rod earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and computer science from the University of Minnesota Morris. Rod and his wife, Susan Ahlers Leman, have five children.

Dean Frazer
District 3 Director

Dean raises 30,000 hogs annually in a farrow-to-finish operation for Frazer Farms LLC. The farm includes 2,800 acres of corn and soybeans. Since 1987, Dean has been a member of the Grundy County Pork Producers, and has served in leadership roles, including as vice president, treasurer, and secretary. In addition, he is a member of the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) swine health and well-being committee; a 12-year member of the Iowa Pork Industry Center Advisory Committee; and a current member of the African Swine Fever task force in Iowa. He also is a member of Farm Bureau, as well as the Iowa Corn Growers and Iowa Soybean associations. Dean and his wife, Linda, received the Master Pork Producer award in 2009. Dean studied agricultural business at Iowa State University in Ames. The Frazers have two adult children.

Clark Wikner
District 4 Director

Clark is a first-generation farmer. He and his wife, Kristine, operate Wikner Family Farms LLC with their sons, Neal and Ben. They raise 60,000 hogs annually in a segregated early weaning operation, as well as farm 650 acres of corn and soybeans. Clark served on the Clayton County Pork Producers board for six years, including two terms as president. He was on a committee that raised money and constructed a new swine building and show ring for the Clayton County Fair. He is currently a member of the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) Iowa Pork Tent committee, and is a past member of IPPA’s swine health and well-being committee. Clark was named a Master Pork Producer by IPPA in 1984.

Kyler Oswald
District 5 Director
Coon Rapids

Kyler is involved in a finisher operation for 16,000 pigs with The Oswalds Inc., based in west central Iowa. He also owns and operates a custom manure pumping business. He’s a member of the Carroll County Farm Bureau, where he served two years as vice president and three years as president. He is currently serving as a voting delegate. Kyler studies agricultural business at Iowa State University.

Doug Gruver
District 7 Director

Doug finishes 15,000 hogs annually for DG Pork LLC. The farm operation also grows 400 acres of corn and 300 acres of soybeans. He is a member of the Iowa Pork Producers, Iowa Corn Growers, and Iowa Soybean associations, as well as the Iowa Farm Bureau. Doug graduated from the Lynnville-Sully Community School District. He and his wife, Janise, have two children, Abby and James.

Jeff Johnson

Jeff was raised on a family farm south of Pleasantville. He began working for Tyson Fresh Meats, formerly IBP, in Waterloo in August 1992, then managed Tyson’s hog buying station in Lincoln (Tama County) from 1993 to 1997. He returned to Waterloo in 1997 as Tyson’s plant buyer, and is currently the senior manager of hog procurement. He is a member of the Black Hawk County Pork Producers. Jeff graduated with a bachelor’s in agricultural business from Iowa State University in 1991.

Ben Schmaling

A third-generation pig farmer, Ben owns Schmaling Brothers Berkshires with his brother, Ethan. About 25 purebred Berkshire sows make up the operation. In spring and fall, nearly 150 Berkshire show pigs are sold throughout the Midwest and nationwide. Seed stock and bred females are marketed in the fall. Off the farm, Ben is a swine consultant at Standard Nutrition Services. Prior to that, he worked for Phibro Animal Health Corp., marketing vaccines, medicated feed additives, and nutritional specialty programs. He also spent seven years in various roles with Zoetis. Ben has been president of the Iowa Purebred Swine Council since 2013; is a certified swine judge in multiple states; and serves on the Adult Board of Directors for Team Purebred, a national youth swine association. In addition, he is a member of the American Berkshire Association. He graduated from what’s now known as the Iowa Pork Leadership Academy; served on the Iowa Pork Producers Association’s then-social media committee, from 2012–2016; and served two years on the National Pork Board’s Producer/Public Health & Workplace Safety committee. A native of Belleville, Wis., Ben earned a marketing degree from Iowa State University.

Darin Madson

Darin has been a swine veterinarian since 2004. He currently works for JBS, which produces about 170,000 sows and 3.8 million hogs annually. From 2006 to 2019, he was a veterinary pathologist for the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Iowa State University in Ames. He is a member of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians; Iowa Farm Bureau; Iowa Cattlemen’s Association; and Iowa Veterinary Medical Association. Darin was born in Albert Lea, Minn., and earned both a bachelor’s and doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. He also holds a doctorate from Iowa State University. Darin and his wife, Katie, have two children.

Ex-officio Directors

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