The National Pork Board honored Dr. William “Billy” Flowers with its Distinguished Service Award during the National Pork Industry Forum in Orlando. Flowers is an animal science professor at North Carolina State University.

Each year the award is presented at the U.S. pork industry’s annual business meeting to an outstanding leader and in recognition of a lifelong contribution to the pork industry.

“Billy has provided extraordinary leadership to the pork industry,” said National Pork Board President Steve Rommereim, a pork producer from Alcester, South Dakota. “Through the years, he has worked tirelessly for the advancement of the pork industry and mentored numerous students at North Carolina State University.”

Flowers was raised near Blacksburg, Virginia, and spent much of his youth on the farms of his aunts and uncles. He also was involved in 4-H and the Future Farmers of America (FFA), which helped to inspire his career. Flowers attended Virginia Tech as an animal science major, graduating in 1982. He attended graduate school at the University of Missouri, earning master’s and doctorate degrees. At the University of Missouri, he had the privilege of working with Billy Day, a world-renowned pork reproductive physiologist.

The combination of wanting to make things better and his appreciation of people steered his career toward teaching and research. In 1987, Flowers joined North Carolina State University. Working to prepare the next generation, his teaching responsibilities include introduction to animal science, pork production and management, and advanced pork reproduction management. He also serves as an advisor to more than 70 students each year.

Also at Pork Forum, the late Bob Morrison posthumously received the Pork Checkoff Industry Service Award. In 2011, he launched the Swine Health Monitoring Project, which provides weekly reports on the health status of more than 50 percent of the U.S. sow herds. Morrison was a veterinarian and professor at the University of Minnesota and coordinated two internationally respected swine health management conferences – the St. Paul, Minnesota-based Allen D. Leman Swine Conference and the Leman China Conference in Nanjing, China.

The National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) presented Sam Hines, former state executive of the Michigan Pork Producers Association, the Paulson-Whitmore State Executive Award. The award, developed cooperatively by the National Pork Board and NPPC, recognizes the outstanding leadership and commitment of state pork association executives. The award is named in honor of two top leaders – Don Paulson, past Minnesota state pork executive, and Rex Whitmore, past Wisconsin state pork executive.