The National Pork Producers Council, at the 28th annual World Pork Expo held here, today unveiled a commemorative painting in recognition of the contributions to the U.S. pork industry of Rolland “Pig” Paul.
The artwork, titled “Pig Paul” and painted by Iowa artist Valerie Miller, is the first of three paintings commissioned by NPPC that will be presented to pork industry leaders over the next two years. (Miller and her husband own and operate Steel Cow, which produces livestock-themed art.)
Paul was honored for his nearly 50 years of work in the purebred swine industry and for his leadership in establishing a number of pork industry organizations. He served on the boards of directors of the American Yorkshire Club and the United Duroc Swine Registry – now known as the National Swine Registry – and as field man for the Iowa Swine Breeders Association – now known as the Iowa Pork Producers Association. He helped set up 24 state pork producer organizations and was the first employee of NPPC, serving as secretary-treasurer from 1966 to 1969.
“I wasn’t hired to be a great leader,” Paul once said. “I was hired to furnish the leadership to accomplish the goals the producers wanted done. Producers set the laws, and I figured out the tools and means to get them done.”
After World War II, Paul and his brother Jay started Paul Brothers Durocs in Dallas County, Iowa, and after moving to Missouri, he raised Duroc and Yorkshire seed stock at his Pork Plantation farm.
Among other contributions to the pork industry, Paul did research on using probes to measure back fat on hogs while attending Iowa State College. During World War II, hog farmers were encouraged to raise fat pigs for their lard, which was used in making explosives. But after the war, consumers wanted meatier hogs and less fat.
“‘Pig’ was one of the early pioneers of the organized U.S. pork industry,” said NPPC President John Weber, a pork producer from Dysart, Iowa. “We’re very pleased to honor his leadership and contributions to our industry with this first commemorative painting.”