Before joining the National Pork Board, Even was responsible for DuPont Pioneer’s worldwide strategy to engage with other businesses. Through this, he built strong relationships with senior figures in areas such as seed cultivation, biotechnology, biofuel and farm policy.
He also served as secretary of agriculture for South Dakota from 2007 to 2010 under the Republican state governor at the time, Mike Round.
“As a fourth-generation farmer, I have deep, personal knowledge of the challenges facing today’s pork producers and I am impressed with, and completely support, the Pork Checkoff’s strategic plan that guides and directs its programs,” said Even on his appointment.
“I look forward to working on behalf of America’s more than 60,000 pig farmers to build consumer trust, drive sustainable production and grow consumer demand for pork.”
Even holds a degree in agricultural production from Lake Area Technical Institute, as well as a minor in economics from South Dakota State University.
He and his family run a crop and livestock farm close to the town of Humboldt, South Dakota. The farm has been owned by his family since 1883 and is currently used to raise corn, soybean, wheat, alfalfa and cattle.
Derrick Sleezer, current president of the National Pork Board, said Even’s track record proved he could make “difficult changes to continuously improve [the pork industry]”. Through a long career defining agricultural policy, Sleezer said he was “confident” the right man was leading the pork industry forward as demand for meat rises in the US and abroad.