With great pride, we are happy to tell you Barb was inducted into the Pork Hall of Fame on March 2, 2017, during Pork Forum in Atlanta! We admit our bias, however, it is none-the-less true Barb is highly deserving of this honor and we are happy to share a little of the acclamation she received at the awards luncheon:

Barb’s farm girl upbringing has stayed with her throughout her life – the evidence seen in her passion for agriculture and its people – as well as her work ethic.

Surrounded by younger brothers and a bushel of boy cousins, Barb excelled academically and in 4-H.

There’s no doubt her attention to detail in programs and processes was born through her 4-H involvement. Barb communicated about her projects with such clarity, her fellow 4-Hers were instructed to watch her – and learn. Those communications skills have also flavored every aspect of her life.

Barb was Henderson County’s first Pork Queen and selected Shorthorn Lassie as well. These honors were the foundation for a lifetime of advocacy for her fellow livestock producers.

Following her time at the University of Illinois, where she was an ag communications major, she entered the field of agricultural journalism. Her career then took her to animal health sales where she was the first female sales rep for two companies. Now you know where Barb’s powers of persuasion were polished and perfected.

In 1981, at the American Pork Congress in Kansas City, Barb was introduced to a pork producer from

Early, Iowa. After a whirlwind courtship and September wedding, Barb’s trajectory changed. Together Barb and Steve Determan farm and raised three great kids who have all become very successful adults. Their two grandchildren are great sources of joy as well.

Soon after Barb and Steve were married, he became chair of the Sac County Pork Producers. Barb worked closely with him and doors were opened for her to increase her involvement in advocacy for the pork industry.

While raising her family and volunteering for pork producers, Barb also started her own business. Heartland Marketing Group has been helping its customers tell their stories for 34 years.

Barb believed every producer – regardless of size – was needed to meet the demand for quality pork made greater by successes in international trade. Her passion for the people in the pork industry and the issues they face – including her particular interest in retail marketing, animal health, and food safety – were steadfast.

Then, in 2001, there was the referendum on the Pork Checkoff and resulting Separation Agreement, negotiated right before Barb became president of NPPC. Barb was joined by her predecessor and successor to endure a week-long crucible in a room at the USDA in Washington, DC, working with attorneys to negotiate the agreement preserving the Pork Checkoff and NPPC.

Barb’s vision for NPPC focused on the benefit of the organization for its members. Fellow officer Don Herzog said, “Barb kept emphasizing this to the Board – we have to maintain the ability of pork producers to continue to be successful, so the organization has to be relevant. We have to serve pork producers and enhance their ability for profit.”

The stress of negotiations and rebuilding of NPPC were intense. Barb carried on with a relentless positive outlook and by engaging her fellow producer leaders in the process.

Dave Roper followed Barb as NPPC’s next president. He remembered, “She wouldn’t waver. Whatever the decision of the Board was, she supported it and she made sure everybody understood. It was not so much to fall on her sword; she would exert all of her energy bringing to fruition the goals and plans of the pork industry.”

Serving the pork industry well has been Barb’s avocation. Tirelessly and selflessly giving of her time, talent, and resources, she engaged producers of all sizes, industry partners, and spent considerable time on Capitol Hill where she represented the industry’s needs and concerns.

Today she remains engaged, serving as president-elect of the US Animal Health Association as the lone producer representative in an organization with significant impact on producers and their practices.

Congratulations, Barb! We are extraordinarily proud of you and your accomplishments. It’s our pleasure to tell this part of YOUR story!


Barb and Steve welcomed grandson, Archie, into their family and hearts on February 19. Archie’s parents are Andy and Sally Determan. His proud big sister is 20 month old Lucy Kate. Grandma and Grandpa Determan were able to spend time with the family and are already smitten with this happy addition to their family.