WASHINGTON – Five appointments to the 15-member National Pork Board were announced June 15 by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Each appointee will serve three-year terms.

The newly appointed members representing pork producers are: Julie Maschhoff, Carlyle, Ill.; Derrick Sleezer, Cherokee, Iowa; Wathina Luthi, Gage, Okla.; and Steven Wuergler, Drain, Ore. Everett Forkner of Richards, Mo., has been reappointed to the board. The five appointees were chosen from among eight pork producers nominated by the National Pork Producers Delegate Body during its meeting in Kansas City, Mo. in March.

"I am pleased that these individuals have agreed to provide their time and expertise," Mr. Vilsack said. “I am confident that pork producers and importers will be well served by them.”

In 2009, there were 71,450 pork operations, representing about 67 million head of pigs at the beginning of 2010, according to U.S.D.A. statistics. Top pork-producing states included Iowa, North Carolina, Minnesota, Illinois and Indiana.

The board, which was established under the Pork Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act of 1985, develops budgets and awards contracts to carry out a coordinated program designed to strengthen the position of pork in the marketplace. The mandatory program is funded by an assessment of 0.4% of the market value of all hogs sold in the U.S. and an equivalent amount on imported hogs, pork and pork products.