pork producer Everett Forkner

Vernon County, Mo., pork producer Everett Forkner is always looking for ways to improve his operation, and he is willing to try new strategies and technology. He is a past president of the National Pork Board. 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Everett Forkner, a longtime Missouri pork producer who was instrumental in establishing the Pork Quality Assurance certification program — representing the U.S. pork industry’s production standards — was inducted into the National Pork Producers Council Hall of Fame March 5.

Forkner received the honor during the National Pork Industry Forum held here.

Forkner grew up on a farm in southwestern Missouri, where he learned to show cattle, according to an NPPC news release. Before he graduated second in his class in the College of Agriculture at the University of Missouri in 1961, he launched his own pork production enterprise, Forkner Farms, with 10 Duroc gilts and a Duroc boar.

Experience on the livestock judging team at the university introduced him to purebred pig production and then to cutting-edge ultrasound technology for measuring performance traits.

Forker later added multiple breeds to his enterprise, including Yorkshire females, Hampshire boars and Duroc terminal sires.

Through a commitment to performance testing and meat quality, Forkner Farms built a reputation as a premier pork supplier. His wean-to-finish barns, built in the late 1990s, were the first of their kind in Missouri.

Forkner has always had a commitment to sustainability and responsible production. He was at the forefront of educating consumers about responsible farming, leading to the formation of the industry’s PQA program in 1989.

Throughout his career, Forkner sat on several breed association boards, served with the Missouri Pork Association and participated on national pork industry committees. In 2012, he was named president of the National Pork Board.

“With more than 50 years of service to producers in Missouri and around the country, Everett Forkner’s career is the very definition of a lifetime commitment,” said NPPC President David Herring, a hog farmer from Lillington, North Carolina. “His leadership, passionate advocacy on animal health and sustainability, and innovative production practices are widely recognized by pork producers. For his ongoing success and leadership in our industry, we are pleased to induct Everett into the NPPC Hall of Fame.”