Russell J. (Pete) Clark has worked on the family farm near Frankfort, Ind., since 1958, but his impact on agriculture is felt nationwide. Clark has shared his vast knowledge of the pork industry with fellow producers through numerous Extension and pork producer seminars, meetings, workshops and field days.
Clark graduated from Purdue in 1958. After a stint in the Navy, he returned to the 1,200 acre family farm to manage the family’s 200-sow farrow-to-finish operation.
“I know of no one in the state who is more highly respected among his peers,” says Wayne L. Singleton, professor of Animal Sciences at Purdue. “When tough decisions are needed, industry leaders still consult with him for advice. Pete has been an informal mentor for many younger pork producer leaders as they become involved in state and national activities. Simply put, when Pete Clark speaks, people listen.”
And when people speak about Clark--people like United Feeds President John Swisher--they use words like “skilled, successful, intellegent, honest, humerous, dedicated and ethical.”
“He has contributed to the industry in his continued involvement in the eradication of the pseudorabies virus. He serves on an on-going committee in this attempt, but maybe more importantly than this, is that he has eradicated the disease on his farm in an area where it was believed to be impossible because of the high incidence of contiguous farms. He put his money where his mouth was,” Swisher says, “and that is always impressive.”
Clark was named a Pork All American in 1973. In 1984, he served as president of the Indiana Pork Producers and was named Master Farmer by Prairie Farmer Magazine. Clark helped organize the Clinton County Pork Producers and served as its president.
He currently is a member of the Swine Advisory Committee to the State Aminal Health Board, working with the State Veternarian Office establishing animal health regulations for Indiana.
Clark also is a community leader in Clinton County. He helped establish the Clinton County Area Plan Commission and again put his money where his mouth was by serving on the commission for 12 years.