Egg Industry Center

Advisory Board

Voting Members

Pete Block

Chair

Pete Block received a BA in Economics from Syracuse University in 1981. Mr. 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, 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...

Joe Colletti

Secretary

Joe Colletti is the interim endowed dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University and the interim director of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station. He was appointed interim endowed dean in November 2017. As leader of the College of Agriculture and Life...

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. He 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...

Roger Deffner

Roger Deffner is the Vice President of Marketing at National Food Corporation. A Seattle company that opened its doors in 1956 as a small, family-owned egg grading plant, National Food Corporation is now the Northwest's leading producer of both organic and cage-free eggs and also exports shell eggs and egg...

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 is a co-developer of Discovery Village assisted living facilities and is involved in the continual development...

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 currently the first Vice Chair of Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC). This seat places him on the EFC Executive Committee in addition to his work on various other EFC committees including: Cost of Production, Marketing & Nutrition, Service Fees, and Quota Utilization. Roger was elected to EFC...

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...

Beth Sparboe (Schnell)

Beth Sparboe Schnell is the President and CEO of Sparboe Farms. Sparboe, a third generation family business founded in 1954, has farms in several states and produces cage free and traditional eggs. A certified woman-owned business, Sparboe markets eggs and egg products to retail, foodservice and industrial customers. Schnell served...

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, Mike 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....

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...

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 past Senior Vice President of Business Development for the Midwest Dairy Association,...

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...

Hongwei Xin

EIC Director

Dr. Xin is the Assistant Dean for Research in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. He is a Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE) and Animal Science and an Iowa Egg Council endowed professor. Since 2008, he...

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