February 28, 2018


Dear Berkshire Breeder,


The Board of Directors would like to take the opportunity to update you on recent board decisions.

Though the initial thought of change can be unsettling, the adjustments being implemented at the

American Berkshire Association are exciting and have been in the cultivation stage for some time.


The initial stimulant for such conversations was brought to the Board in August of 2017 by the Chief

Executive Officer. It was made aware to the Board that this employee was strongly considering seeking

other employment in the near future. In August, with limited time to respond, the Board made a

decision to stay true to the annual employee review calendar and make personnel adjustment decisions

at the December 2017 Board meeting.


As discussions transpired during the December 2017 Board meeting, it was reiterated to the Board by

the Chief Executive Officer that she was strongly considering an employment opportunity outside of the

American Berkshire Association. During these conversations, it was also brought to the Board’s

attention, by the Chief Executive Officer, that the outside job offer given to her was substantially more

appealing than the existing compensation package she had with the American Berkshire Association.

Additionally, it was made clear to the Board that the offer was extended to her from an industry partner

of the Association.


At that time, it became evident to the Board that change was in the near future for the American

Berkshire Association. The Board acknowledged the multitude of tasks that accompany a breed

association, which not only is the sole stand-alone major swine breed in the United States, but also is

the only swine breed that relishes a heightened level of exhibition popularity and industry leadership in

pork consumer appeal. Concurrently, American Berkshire Association members have shared major

challenges in marketing 100% pure Berkshire Pork®. Acknowledging the challenges and membership

interactions led the Board to believe that the association has not fully capitalized on the market

opportunities and subsequent untapped breed growth. In that conversation, the board was inevitably

assigned the mission of redeveloping the American Berkshire Association infrastructure.


With what was presented as a tremendous career opportunity for Amy Smith, the board rose to the

occasion of business planning. In that, it was recognized that an adjustment of American Berkshire

Association resources and a realignment of employee skill sets would be a natural evolutionary step in

updating the services and programs the Association provides to its diverse membership. Outlined in the

“Vision 2025” strategy, the Board unanimously agreed a year ago in December of 2016, to move forward

regarding the following three goals: 1) Operational Excellence; 2) Advance the Meat Program; and, 3)

Improve Marketing and Communications. With this professional approach, the Board is confident the

American Berkshire Association is staged to embrace current challenges and capitalize on future



The Board is proud to officially announce three new key components to the updated infrastructure. First

is Amy Smith’s acceptance of the Event Coordinator position. In this 50%-time role, she will be serving as

the lead coordinator for the Association at all national Berkshire shows. Additionally, this role is

responsible for assisting with Team Purebred events as needed and will be regularly reporting on

national Berkshire events in which attended.


The second update of the Association to report is the development of an Office Administrator position.

This position was upgraded from the current Office Assistant position. Katie Morgan has agreed to take

on more responsibilities and verbally accepted the promotion as Office Administrator. The Board is

pleased she will assume this position and is confident she will do an excellent job in providing office

support and services to members. Katie has been an employee of the Association for over a year with

positive employee reviews. The responsibilities of the Office Administrator are to manage the daily

operations within the office and keep accurate pedigree, membership, and financial records. As a

member, you can expect timely and professional services provided from the main office. Please help us

congratulate Katie on her promotion and continued professional growth in the Association.


Finally, the Board wants to share with you a newly approved position, Director of Berkshire Operations.

The successful Director of Berkshire Operations candidate will be responsible for the assignments

originally defined in the Association bylaws as the duties of the secretary/treasurer. Additionally, this

team leader will champion breed promotion, meat program growth, public communications and

personnel management.


This newly assembled infrastructure is solely geared to support the needs and future success of the

American Berkshire Association, its membership, and its employees alike. We welcome conversations

from membership as the association navigates through this time of transition.





American Berkshire Association, Board of Directors

Jeff Wippel, President

Adam Conover, Vice-President

Neil Knobloch, Executive Committee Member

Vance Aldridge

Jan Allen

Marcus Miller

Chuck Real

Matt Ritter

Greg Smith

 2637 Yeager Road | West Lafayette, IN 47906 | P: 765-497-3618 | F: 765-497-2959




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