2021 Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Dennis Liljedahl

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.

Kevin Rasmussen

Kevin 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.

Mike Paustian
Past President

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, and served a one-year term as president in 2020.

Trish Cook
VP of Resources/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.

Dwight Mogler
VP of Operations/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.

James Hogan
VP of Producer Services/District 4 Director

James 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. He 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 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.

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 Association 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 (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.


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. Marv studied business at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City.

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. Deahr has previously served on the IPPA board in 2010-2011, 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.

Aaron Juergens
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.

Gregg Hora
District 2 Director (interim)
Fort Dodge

Hora was president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association in 2018, then served as past president the following year. He was first elected to the board in 2014. He finishes 27,000 hogs per year and farms nearly 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans. A longtime member of the Webster County Pork Producers, Gregg has been active on the county grilling and media team and participated in many pork promotions. Hora has been active as a volunteer at the Iowa Pork Tent at the Iowa State Fair.

Lowell Busch
District 3 Director

Lowell has a cow/calf operation, and grows corn and soybeans. He 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.

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 studied ag business at Iowa State University.

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 adviser 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.

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.

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 Institute. A native of Minnesota, Rod earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and computer science from the University of Minnesota Morris.

Ex-officio Directors