Kris Scheller-Stewart, a former Waupaca resident who now lives in King City, Missouri, was appointed to serve a two-year term on the National Pork Board.
A total of six people were appointed to the 15-member board in May.
Farming is a family legacy for Scheller-Stewart.
“My family raised feeder pigs, chickens, corn and oats. My mother worked for Niemuth’s Steak and Chop Shop and my dad was a salesmen for Rippon Good Cookies,” said Scheller-Stewart, who grew up on King Road in rural Waupaca.
Her brother, Steve Scheller, owns and operates King Berry, with the help of her mother, Dorothy, and sister-in-law, Patti.
Patti Scheller also runs Raspberry Connection.
Scheller-Stewart became interested in entering the field of agricultural science while a student at Waupaca High School, where she graduated in 1983.
“Mr. Charles Larsen, my ag teacher and FFA coach, signed me for a scholarship for Farm and Industry Short Course in Madison,” Scheller-Stewart said. “I was awarded the scholarship and attended FISC the fall of ‘83 to spring of ‘84. It was there that I realized I needed a higher education and applied for college at UW-Madison.”
Scheller-Stewart attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in meat and animal science in 1988.
She worked for Dr. Dan Schafer, running his labatory and assisting in research trials, until 1995.
“While employed for Dr. Schaefer, we discovered the effects of Vitamin E fed to beef cattle, enhanced the red meat color and shelf life of the product,” she said.
Later, Scheller-Stewart started her career in the swine industry in a variety of positions – in meat science and data collection capacity for Pig Improvement Company (PIC), U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), Seghers-Newsham Genetics and Premium Standard Farms (PSF).
Farmland Foods bought PSF in 2007, and Scheller-Stewart was appointed as procurement manager.
“I bought the market pigs for the packing plant. Farmland Foods was bought by Smithfield Foods, and I stayed in this position till 2013,” Scheller-Stewart said. “In 2013, I joined with Lynch Livestock – my current employer – and I manage cull buying stations and help procure customers throughout Missouri, southeastern Iowa and Wisconsin. Culls are the sows, boars, non-select gilts, lights and pigs you don’t want to sell to a packing plant.
While employed for Farmland Foods, Scheller-Stewart became involved with the Missouri Pork Association and served on committees and became a board member.
“Missouri Pork asked me to be a delegate for the National Pork Board. I had to go through an interview with the National Pork Board nominating committee and attend Pork Forum and go through interviews with all the states who had representatives there and tell them why I think I should be on the NPB,” Scheller-Stewart said.
The National Pork Board helps producers through research, promotion and education. The money to do that comes from a check off fund that producers pay on their pigs when they take them to market.
Established under the Pork Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act of 1985, the board develops budgets and awards contracts to carry out a coordinated program designed to strengthen the position of pork in the marketplace.