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Published October 29, 2013, 03:43 PM

Head of ND Pork Council retiring

Charlotte Meier will continue in county extension post.

By: Jonathan Knutson, Agweek

The longest-serving head of the North Dakota Pork Council is retiring at the end of the year. But she’ll remain a familiar presence to agriculturalists in southwest North Dakota.

Charlotte Meier, the organization’s executive director since 1990, is stepping down from the part-time post to spend more time with her family. Meier, 64, will continue to serve as administrative assistant with the North Dakota State University Extension Service office in Hettinger County.

“I’ll still be able to touch base with producers. I’ll still be in on the ag news through extension,” she says.

The search is under way for her successor at the Pork Council.

“She’s good at what she does. She’s been very dedicated to the pork industry. Everyone will miss her,” says Kent Neuman, a Carrington, N.D., producer and president of the North Dakota Pork Council.

He’s optimistic that a new executive director will be named by Dec. 1.

The job is billed as a part-time one, requiring 10 to 20 hours per week.

Meier operates the Pork Council office out of her home in Regent, N.D. The organization hasn’t decided yet where the office will be located after Meier’s successor takes over.

Meier, for her part, says a new executive director can bring fresh energy and vision.

As executive director, Meier is responsible for day-to-day office duties and overseeing the promotion, research and education funded by producer checkoff dollars. Producer needs have changed greatly through the years, and the mandatory checkoff program grew to meet those needs, Meier says.

Long industry ties

Meier grew up in the Regent and Mott, N.D., area. She and her husband ran a hog operation for many years; they left it because of her husband’s health issues.

Before becoming its executive director, Meier was a volunteer with the pork group and served as president of its statewide women’s group.

Pork production and the pork industry became “an integral part” of her life, she says.

Meier says she’s enjoyed working with other commodity groups.

Her greatest satisfaction has been “associating and working with all our state (pork) producers. I’ve gotten to know producers from one end of the state to the other,” she says.

“The camaraderie has been a blessing,” she says.

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