The award was presented during the National Pork Industry Forum, the industry’s annual business meeting, held in Indianapolis. The award is given annually to recognize the lifelong contribution to the pork industry by an outstanding leader.
“Darrell has provided extraordinary leadership to the pork industry,” said Everett Forkner, a pork producer from Richards, Missouri. “His skill in strategic planning and visionary ideas not only shaped the National Swine Registry, but also helped to develop current and future leaders of the U.S. pork industry.”
Anderson grew up on a family farm in southwest Minnesota and attended South Dakota State University. After graduation, he worked in a variety of jobs, including serving as the Extension director in Cottonwood County, Minnesota. While there, he took a 4-H group from having no judging program to winning the National 4-H Livestock Judging Championship in just three years.
In 1987, the Yorkshire Breed Association offered Anderson the position of executive secretary. He was instrumental in developing and growing the Swine Testing and Genetic Evaluation Systems (STAGES). The program became a driving force among swine breeders, as well as a tool for international markets. The program went through significant refinement and improvement under Darrell’s leadership. He also introduced the Tested Best Show at the 1988 World Pork Expo.
In the 1990s, Anderson cast a historical vision for the purebred swine industry through the creation of the NSR. The Duroc, Hampshire and Yorkshire associations – and later the Landrace Association – were brought under one umbrella to better serve producers of all four breeds. Forming the National Swine Registry accomplished several goals, including implementation of the STAGES program.
While at the National Swine Registry, Anderson also played a monumental role in the formation of the National Junior Swine Association in 2000. The National Junior Swine Association prepares and develops youth to be the future leaders of the purebred swine industry. It has grown to become one of the largest youth livestock organizations.