DES MOINES, Iowa – William Even will join the National Pork Board (NPB) as CEO on June 6. Even replaces Chris Hodges, who vacated the position Dec. 31, 2015, after serving as the association’s CEO for less than a year. Even brings substantial crop and livestock production experience to the position.

“As a fourth-generation farmer, I have deep, personal knowledge of the challenges facing today’s pork producers and I am impressed with and completely support the Pork Checkoff’s strategic plan that guides and directs its programs,” Even said. “I look forward to working on behalf of America’s more than 60,000 pig farmers to build consumer trust, drive sustainable production and grow consumer demand for pork.”

Even managed DuPont Pioneer’s global industry relations strategy and built collaborative relationships in seed, biofuels, biotechnology and farm policy before joining the NPB. Even served as South Dakota’s Secretary of Agriculture from 2007 to 2010.

During that time, he managed six department divisions and also served as Deputy Secretary of Tourism and State Development, Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, State Energy Policy Director, and policy advisor for South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds.

“Bill’s stellar career in public service has been devoted to defining ag policy and implementing the often difficult changes needed to continuously improve,” said Derrick Sleezer, NPB president and a pig farmer from Cherokee, Iowa. “His ability to build trusted relationships is critical to the US pork industry. I feel confident in his experience and discipline needed to build and lead teams to meet the growing demand for protein in the US and abroad.”

Even’s education includes a degree in agricultural production from Lake Area Technical Institute, a bachelor’s in agricultural business with an economics minor from South Dakota State Univ. and a Juris Doctorate from Drake Univ. Law School.