Egg Industry Center

Advisory Board

Voting Members

Pete Block

Chair

Pete Block received a BA in Economics from Syracuse University in 1981. Block entered the poultry industry in 1984 working for Hy-Line International on the west coast. He served first as a sales representative in Southern California and in 1988 and became their Western Region Manager. In 2007, Block became...

Blair Van Zetten

Vice Chair

Blair Van Zetten is the President of Oskaloosa Food Products Corporation located in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Oskaloosa Foods is an industry leader in dried, liquid and frozen egg products that serves both domestic and international markets. Van Zetten's start in the egg business was alongside his father who started the company...

Daniel Robison

Secretary

Dr. Daniel J. Robison is the holder of the Endowed Dean’s Chair in College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) at Iowa State University. He also serves as the director for the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station. Robison is a New Jersey native, and serves as the 11th...

Don Beermann

Returning to his alma mater in 2015, Dr. Donald Beermann is a Professor and Chair of the Animal Science Department at Iowa State University. Beermann completed a Masters of Science and doctorate degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as joined the faculty at Cornell before becoming department chair...

Dennis Casey

Dr. Dennis W. Casey attended Iowa State University and received his B.S. degree in Agricultural Business in 1964, his Masters degree in Poultry Breeding in 1968, and his Ph.D. in Poultry Breeding and Genetics in 1970. Following graduation from Iowa State, Dr. Casey joined Hy-Line International that same year, starting...

Bruce Dooyema

After high school, Bruce Dooyema pursued a career on the family farm southwest of Sioux Center doing both dairy and egg production. After a dairy barn fire in the fall of 1986, the Dooyema family decided to turn their attention to egg production only. Today, the farm — Center Fresh...

Steve George

Steve George has served as President and CEO of Fremont Farms of Iowa, LLP since 2002. Fremont Farms is one of the leading providers of liquid egg products to further processors in the U.S. with integrated operations in pullets, layers, and processing. He is also a partner/investor in Iowa Cagefree...

Jeff Henning

Chairman of Henning Holdings and its affiliates, Jeff Henning has been employed with the company for 45-years starting after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Operations from Iowa State University. Henning Family Farms is a partner in several egg farm partnerships including poultry industry companies created to add...

Jonathan Merkle

Dr. Jonathan Merkle is the Chief Science Officer and Vice President of Science and Technology for Michael Foods, Inc. He serves as the process authority and is responsible for sound implementation of science and technology throughout the company. In addition, he is responsible for the technical evaluation and business implementation...

Paul Patterson

Dr. Paul Patterson is a Professor and Poultry Science Extension Specialist for Pennsylvania State University and holds a doctorate degree in poultry science and nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His main research interests target environmental poultry management, including the management of manure and by-products of poultry production as...

Roger Pelissero

Roger Pelissero is third generation egg farmer from St. Ann’s, Ontario and Chair of the Board of Egg Farmers of Canada. Prior to his appointment as Chairman in 2017, Roger represented Ontario on the Egg Farmers of Canada Board of Directors. He has also served on numerous Board appointed committees...

Chris Pierce

As President of Heritage Poultry Management Services, Inc. in Annville, Pennsylviania, Chris Pierce is pleased to have the chance to work with local business and the Pennsylvania egg industry to support the rural way of life so important to Pennsylvania. Chris is committed to ensuring that the Pennsylvania egg industry...

Marcus Rust

Marcus Rust is the CEO of Rose Acre Farms. Growing up on the farm in southern hills of Indiana, Marcus did every aspect of the egg business and row crop farming the old fashioned way first. Before 1966, Rose Acre never had a hen in a cage. Rose Acres finished...

Michael Sencer

Michael Sencer is the Senior Vice President for Hidden Villa Ranch located in Fullerton, California. Involved in the food and egg industry for over 45 years, he started in 1971, working nights for California Ranch Fresh Egg Company in El Monte, California. Sencer became a working partner at that company...

Beth Schnell

Beth Sparboe Schnell is the CEO of Sparboe Companies. Sparboe is a third generation family business founded in 1954. A certified woman-owned business, Sparboe produces and markets eggs. Schnell serves on the board of the Minnesota Agri Growth Council, the Midwest Poultry Consortium, the Iowa Poultry Association, and is a...

Hongwei Xin

Dr. Hongwei Xin serves as the dean of Ag Research and director of the Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station at The University of Tennessee (UT) where he directs several research programs of some 200 scientists and 450 specialized staff located on campus and at 10 strategically-located Research and Education Centers across...

Ex-officio Members

Michael Naig

Mike Naig grew up on a family farm in the northwest corner of the state near Cylinder, Iowa. Early in his life, he learned the value of hard work by helping his dad and uncle run their crop and livestock farm. He continues to be involved in the operation today....

Kevin Stiles

The Executive Director of the Iowa Egg Council and Iowa Poultry Association, Kevin Stiles acts as a resource for the state's poultry production activities and provides leadership in developing new markets and growth opportunities for the industry. As Executive Director, Stiles has worked hard to expand opportunities for members and...

Ruth MacDonald

Dr. MacDonald received a Ph.D in Nutrition from the University of Minnesota. She completed an MS in Nutrition also from the University of Minnesota and has been certified as a Registered Dietitian. She was an NIH Post-Doctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School, Joslin Diabetes Center, in Boston MA. before joining...

Angela Laury-Shaw

Dr. Angela Laury-Shaw is an Assistant Professor of Food Safety at Iowa State University in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. She is a native of Downers Grove, Illinois and returned back to Iowa after 6 years in Lubbock, Texas. She received her B.S. and M.S. in animal...

Susan Lamont

Interim Director

Dr. Susan J. Lamont is a Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Animal Science with specific expertise in animal breeding and genetics. In addition to her research role, she also serves as the equity advisor for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Dr. Lamont was named the interim director...

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