ORLANDO — During the National Pork Industry Forum on March 9, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) inducted William “Billy” Herring into the National Pork Industry Hall of Fame after more than 50 years in the industry.

In 1969, Herring founded Hog Slat, a Newton Grove, a NC-based supplier to hog and poultry producers. Hog Slat began as a solution to a supply chain problem when Herring was building a new nursery for his family’s 300-sow farrow-to-finish operation. Herring created his own slats and has since grown the operation to produce a full range of hog and poultry equipment. The business also currenlty includes a 30,000-sow farm and construction jobs worldwide.

Herring attributes his success to his family and coworkers, including his wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and the 2,000-plus Hog Slat employees. Herring recently retired, but under the management of his sons, Tommy, David and Mark, Hog Slats continues to operate as a family-owned business.

“Billy’s contribution to the US pork industry is second to none,” said outgoing NPPC President Terry Wolters, pork producer from Pipestone, Minn. “He’s influenced how pigs are raised not just in the US but worldwide. Billy has made countless lasting contributions to the US pork industry and has led with values that he has instilled in the next generation of pork producers. We congratulate Billy for his induction to the Hall of Fame because the pork industry wouldn’t be where it is today without his contributions.”

NPPC also recognized Mike Telford, former executive director of Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA), with the Paulson-Whitmore State Executive Award during the National Pork Industry Forum. The award, which is named after former Minnesota and Wisconsin Executive Directors Don Paulson and Rex Whitmore, recognizes state pork organization executives for outstanding leadership and commitment.

Telford joined IPPA in 1978. Under his leadership, IPPA played a key role in establishing the mandatory checkoff. Many members of the team Telford assembled have gone on to lead other state associations, on the national level and within other agricultural groups.

“NPPC and the National Pork Board are honored to present Mike with this well-deserved award,” Wolters said. “Throughout his career, Mike Telford has been a well-respected visionary and committed mentor for pork producers across the country. His leadership and unconventional thinking helped the Iowa pork industry navigate through some challenging years, helping it to continue to flourish and succeed.”