News from the National Pork Board
Pyburn to lead Checkoff’s science and technology team

The National Pork Board announced that Dave Pyburn, DVM, has been named the new senior vice president of science and technology. Pyburn joined the Pork Checkoff staff in 2013 and was serving as assistant vice president in the science and technology department. As senior vice president of science and technology, Pyburn will report to Chief Executive Officer Chris Hodges and lead the science programs and research priorities of the National Pork Board. He will also participate in the six volunteer pork producer committees that assist in prioritizing scientific focus and will manage the on-staff team of experts.

Dr Pyburn is a respected and demonstrated leader in the swine science industry and has proven himself as both a qualified academic and a leader of his team,” said Hodges. “Dave’s professional history encompasses on-the-farm practical work and government experience, and he was also previously the director of veterinary science at the National Pork Producers Council. Dave has many progressive ideas for this team and our industry, and we are looking forward to him starting his new role immediately.”

Pyburn joined the National Pork Board in 2013 and previously served 13 years as the senior veterinary medical officer at the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Veterinary Services. In that role, he was responsible for setting the department’s priorities, budget, and implementation of swine health programs. Pyburn was with the National Pork Producers Council from 1997 to 2000 and, prior to that, a practicing veterinarian in Iowa. He is also a member of several professional organizations including American Veterinary Medical Association, Iowa Veterinary Medical Association, United States Animal Health Association, National Institute for Animal Agriculture, and American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV). Through AASV, he currently serves on the Foreign Animal Disease Committee, the Pork Safety Committee, and the Influenza Committee.

For more information, contact Dave Pyburn at or 515-223-2634.

New educational series: How to beat the long-term effects of seasonal pig stress

Pork producers know that high summer temperatures can lead to heat stress and poor pig performance, but they may not know how long those effects can last and how much they cost if not addressed correctly. These topics were the focus of the Pork Checkoff’s newest educational opportunity, “Assessing and understanding the impact of seasonal loss of productivity,” a free, four-part Webinar series that was presented in August.

“The Checkoff’s Animal Science Committee was pleased to again bring this type of research-based information to all producers this year,” said Chris Hostetler, director of animal science at the National Pork Board. “The subject of the series affects all producers regardless of farm size or location, yet producers have few tools to combat the effects of summer heat. However, being aware of its long-term impact is the first step.”

To learn more, go to animalscience. For more information, contact Chris Hostetler at or 515-223-2606.

Consumer outreach: Pork Education Center now open

Last June, the new Pork Education Center in Fair Oaks, Indiana, opened its doors to help connect consumers with how pork is produced. Funded in part by a $2 million Pork Checkoff investment, the youth-focused center aims to provide visitors a transparent look at a working farrow-to-weaning farm. Through interactive displays and a challenging rope-climbing course, the new 7000 ft2 Pork Education Center, which is part of the overall Fair Oaks’ Pig Adventure, focuses on all-things pork – from nutrition and recipes to facts about responsible, sustainable pork production and pigs’ contribution to human medicine.

For more information, contact Angela Anderson at or 515-223-2623.

The new Pork Education Center in Fair Oaks, Indiana

exterior image of pork education center