Meet the Participants in the 2015 Pork Leadership Program
Today, Nebraska’s agricultural leadership is built on generations of individuals who made agriculture their cause, not just a job.
The Nebraska Pork Producers Association believes in, and is committed to helping develop agricultural leaders who share the same passion for agriculture. In 2015, the Pork Leadership Program was created to build awareness, interest, and involvement in the pork industry. It was created, primarily to provide opportunities to further develop leadership skills.
2015 Pork Leadership Program Participants are talented people who are positively contributing to the future of Nebraska’s pork industry!
Alan Stephens is a Sr. Business Development Manager for The Maschhoffs, the largest independent pork producer in the US. He’s responsible for expanding the company’s production capacity throughout Nebraska and Southwest Iowa.
During his career in animal agriculture, Alan has had the opportunity to develop skills and experience in a wide range of roles, including research, technical support, production operations, business development, sales and marketing, in the chicken, turkey and swine industries.
Having traveled to 47 of the United States and 17 countries, he’s gained a great appreciation for different perspectives and cultures. His most gratifying career experience was partnering with a Brazilian company to produce, market and distribute turkey breeding stock throughout South America.
Alan, and his wife of 32 years, Kristin, live in Elkhorn, And continue to enjoy close relationships with their three college educated/employed children who reside in North Carolina and Colorado. When not working, Alan enjoys outdoor recreation, boating, college and professional sports and home improvement projects.
Presiding over FIRE® feeder research at DNA Genetics, Ali Prochaska is responsible for maintaining the quality of data at the Insight Performance Center. This includes any maintenance the feeders may require as well as focusing heavily on accurate feed intake data. The information that comes from the FIRE® feeders is used to calculate each individual pig’s feed conversion ratio, which is then calculated into their overall index.
Prior to joining DNA Genetics in August 2013, Ali earned her bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. In college, she participated in the Nebraska Pork Producers Association Pork Mentoring Program and served as the Agricultural Economics Department Ambassador. She was also involved in other clubs and activities throughout campus. Ali grew up on a family farm outside of Crete, where she was involved in 4-H and FFA.
Ali married her husband Nate, on June 6th. Together, they are proud homeowners in David City, and are busy in the home remodeling process.
Danielle O’Neel was born and raised on a family hog farm outside of Friend. From showing pigs in 4-H to her current position as the Assistant HR Manager at Smithfield-Farmland – the pork industry has always been a big part of her life.
After graduating from High School in Friend, Danielle received her Bachelor’s of Art in Communication at Nebraska Wesleyan University and her Master’s in Organizational Leadership with Gonzaga University. During her college career she was also part of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association Pork Mentoring Program. She gives credit to this program for finding her first job through making connections at Smithfield-Farmland.
Danielle strives to be a good advocate for the industry that has had such an impact on her and her family. Her parents, Terry and Diane O’Neel, have instilled the importance of being involved and doing what is right. Through the Pork Leadership Program she hopes to continue to learn, grow and be a resource for NPPA and the pork industry.
In her spare time Danielle stays busy through baking cakes and pastries, as well as training to be a fitness instructor at her local gym. She enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, fitness, sports, cooking and anything outdoors.
Swine and ag sales inside representative at QC Supply, Jennifer Ruby is responsible for selling items to customers and helping them get the right products for their operation.
A graduate of Oklahoma Panhandle State University, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science, where she participated as a member of the collegiate livestock judging team. She also earned an associate in Horse training and Management from Lamar Community College.
Jennifer worked for seven years in swine production from boar stud to finishing in company facilities and contract growers.
Jennifer and her husband, Justin reside in Howells, where they have a small show cattle herd.
As Director of Livestock Marketing, Mike Wisnieski is responsible for managing risk on hog production for Standard Nutrition and their partners. Risk management includes cultivating relationships with packing and toll mills, negotiating cash sales and price discovery contracts, input pricing, execution and tracking of all futures and option positions. Mike utilizes a margin management approach to evaluate feed inputs in conjunction with livestock sales bi-directionally. In addition to risk management, Mike compiles and summarizes financial statements for lending partners and Standard’s partners in the different finishing flows.
Prior to joining Standard Nutrition, Mike spent in non-consecutive terms approximately 10-years with Farm Credit Services of America as a credit analyst in the swine division working with both large integrated and large independent swine producers. In between, Mike spent 4-years with Cargill Direct as a risk manager for swine producers throughout the Midwest.
Mike grew up on a family farm in Northeast Nebraska where the family operated a small dairy and farrow-to-finish operation along with raising corn, beans and alfalfa. Mike earned his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Diversified Agriculture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1999. Mike is married to his wife Brandy, and the couple has 2 children, Madisyn, age 7 and Ethyn age 3.
Sandra Kavan is the Allied Industry Services Director for the Nebraska Pork Producers Association (NPPA) in Lincoln. Sandra coordinates and promotes pork industry programs for allied members as well as the association’s Strategic Investment Program, which focuses on public policy and trade.
Sandra earned her Bachelor of Science degree in agribusiness from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in December 2012. She participated in the Nebraska Pork Producers Association Pork Mentoring Program, a career development program that provides college students with a variety of hands-on experience in the pork industry.
Sandra grew up on her family’s farm just outside of Wahoo, where they have a wean-to-finish pig operation, and raise corn and soybeans.