Missouri pork producer Everett Forkner recently was inducted into the National Pork Producers Council Hall of Fame.
Forkner, who was instrumental in establishing the Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) certification program, received the honor during the National Pork Industry Forum in March.
Forkner grew up on a farm in southwestern Missouri, where he gained a strong work ethic and learned to show cattle. But as a member of the livestock judging team at the University of Missouri, he was introduced to a breed of pig that changed his agriculture trajectory — the Duroc.
Growing the industry
Forkner launched his own purebred pork production operation, Forkner Farms, with 10 Duroc gilts and a Duroc boar before his 1961 graduation from the then-MU College of Agriculture.
Since then, Forkner has been on the cutting edge of purebred pig production using ultrasound technology for measuring performance traits. Over the years, he’s added many breeds to his enterprise, including Yorkshire females, Hampshire boars and Duroc terminal sires.
With a focus on performance testing and meat quality, Forkner Farms built a reputation as a premier pork supplier. He launched Truline Genetics. His wean-to-finish barns, built in the late 1990s, were the first of their kind in Missouri.
Forkner has always had a strong 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 has 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, continuing his willingness to share his experience and commitment to the industry.
“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 National Pork Producers Council President David Herring, a hog farmer from Lillington, N.C.
“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.”