DES MOINES, IOWA – The National Pork Board (NPB) announced recent staff leadership changes on Jan. 27.
Dustin (Dusty) Oedekoven, DVM, will join NPB as chief veterinarian on Feb. 25. Oedekoven will lead a team of veterinarians and swine production experts in Pork Checkoff-funded work focusing on foreign animal disease (FAD) preparedness and protecting the US herd from African swine fever (ASF).
Oedekoven most recently served as state veterinarian and executive secretary for the South Dakota Animal Industry Board. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University and Bachelor of Science degree from South Dakota State University.
Patrick Webb, DVM, will serve as NPB’s assistant chief veterinarian. Webb will continue implementing Pork Checkoff-funded FAD prevention and preparedness efforts. In addition, he will help develop a swine industry approach for managing and responding to FAD threats and serve as a primary point of contact for the US Swine Health Improvement Program (US SHIP) during the pilot program.
“From our 15-member producer board of directors to the leaders I talked to at the state pork associations and within the veterinarian and allied industry communities, I know we all agree on the importance of these roles,” said Bill Even, National Pork Board chief executive officer. “Preventing ASF from entering the US and addressing endemic disease, such as PRRS, are tall orders, but I am confident we have the leadership and talent to tackle these challenges in Drs. Oedekoven and Webb.”
In addition, Brett Kaysen, PhD, who has been serving as senior vice president of sustainability for NPB, has taken on the role of senior vice president of producer and state engagement. In his new role, Kaysen will continue to oversee the sustainability team – led by Sara Crawford, PhD, vice president of sustainability – and will assume responsibility for the team working on building leadership and partnerships among state pork associations and producers.
“US pork producers continue to operate in a rapidly changing environment. From market dynamics, disease threats and increasing calls from the supply chain for demonstration of our sustainability practices, we need experienced, dedicated leaders who can nimbly navigate these changes on behalf of Checkoff payers due to their deep understanding of our industry,” Even said.