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Iowa Porkettes

 Organization

On the initiative of the newly formed National Porkettes, the Iowa Porkettes organized in January 1964 as an auxiliary to the Iowa Pork and Swine Producers Association (IPSPA). Starting with a group of forty members, the first president of the Iowa Porkettes Jan Jackson recruited over two hundred members by the end of the year. Within the first two years, the Porkettes adopted pork promotion as their primary goal. This included promoting pork at fairs and supermarkets and after 1965 organizing the rules for and conducting the annual Pork Queen contest on a more formal basis. The Porkettes also worked with schools to introduce pork information into the home economics curriculum. To finance these activities, the Iowa Porkettes sold pig-related items at fairs and conferences and in 1976 created the fully owned, for-profit company Iowa Pigskin Sales Company (IPSC). Early Porkette officers organized groups at the county and district level, increasing the membership from 410 in 1972 to 5671 in 1979. With increased membership, Iowa Porkettes expanded their promotional activities. Concern about liability motivated them to incorporate as an independent organization in 1976, linked to the IPSPA by a memoradum of understanding. The IPSPA by this time had changed its name to the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA). As the Iowa Porkettes grew in size, the organization acquired a more professional identity. Many members expressed a feeling that the name "Porkettes" did not reflect this new identity, but in 1984, the membership voted by a narrow margin to retain the name "Porkettes." Many members also felt the Pork Queen no longer reflected women's role in pork production, but most members recognized that the Pork Queen had evolved into a polished, professional, and highly effective, public-relations spokesperson. In 1986, the National Pork Board allocated federally mandated pork promotion funds to the IPPA. With the new income, the IPPA hired additional staff, paid mileage to its officers and committee members, and distributed high quality promotional materials. With little discussion, the IPPA gradually included Porkette members on many of its committees. Over the next four years, the IPPA and Porkette committees merged completely. Without committees to oversee, there was no longer a compelling reason to maintain a distinct women's auxiliary board and the Iowa Porkettes dissolved in 1991. Additional history is found in the "History and Organizational Structure" series; the first project book, compiled by Kathryn Louden in 1973; and in the IPPA organizational history Iowa Pork and People by Donald Muhm.

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

Esther Ver Meer papers

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: IWA0408
Abstract Farmwoman and member of the Porkettes, the women's auxiliary of the Iowa Pork Producers Council.

Arrangement One folder, shelved in SCVF.
Dates: 1991-1998

Iowa Porkettes records

 Collection
Identifier: IWA0626
Abstract Women's auxiliary of the Iowa Pork Producer's Association, founded in 1964. Merged with the men's organization in 1992.
Dates: 1964-1996

Myrtle Keppy papers

 Collection
Identifier: IWA0480
Abstract Champion hog breeder, farm woman, 4-H leader, and president of the Iowa Porkettes.
Dates: 1926-2009