Minnesota Pork Board Acknowledges Outstanding Leadership with Distinguished Service Award

In a well-deserved recognition of exceptional leadership, Dave Preisler has been honored with the Minnesota Pork Board’s Distinguished Service Award. Throughout his nearly 28-year career, Preisler showcased a unique talent for connecting people to each other and to agriculture, leaving an indelible mark on the Minnesota pig farming industry.

The Distinguished Service Award, designed to recognize individuals contributing to the long-term success of the pork industry in Minnesota, highlights Preisler’s remarkable career. His tenure at the Minnesota Pork Producers Association (MPPA), which began in 1994 and concluded with his retirement in June 2022, exemplified a commitment to long-term success and service to rural America.

A Journey of Learning and Leadership

Hailing from northwest Minnesota, Preisler’s journey into agriculture was influenced by dedicated educators, particularly his FFA advisor. After obtaining an agricultural education degree from North Dakota State University, Preisler spent two years as a high school agricultural teacher, fostering young minds and building a robust network.

His career path then led him to a county extension agent role in Le Sueur County, encompassing experiences in crop and environmental education, county planning, and zoning. This served as a steppingstone to Preisler’s pivotal role at MPPA.

As the executive director of MPPA, Preisler demonstrated a calm demeanor and a talent for unifying diverse groups. John Anderson, a Minnesota pig farmer and past MPPA president, commended Preisler for his ability to listen to farmer concerns and bring together the right groups to advocate for farmers.

Navigating Challenges with Resilience

Preisler’s leadership was particularly evident during challenging periods, such as the structural changes in the ’90s and early 2000s. Despite a decrease in the number of farms, Preisler and farmer leadership successfully opposed state moratoriums that could have impeded the industry’s growth. His efforts in policy advocacy, especially in feedlot permitting, played a crucial role in shaping the pig farming landscape in Minnesota.

Additionally, Preisler led the industry through disease preparedness, addressing crises like the H1N1 outbreak and COVID-19. His commitment to navigating challenges and evolving the industry showcased his dedication to farmers.

An Evolving Landscape: Image Promotion and Advocacy

Preisler also contributed to the evolution of farmer image promotion alongside promoting pork as a product. Initially focused on educating consumers about pork consumption, Preisler adapted to the digital age, working to communicate pig farmers’ values in raising safe pork and bridging the gap between farmers and consumers.

Post-Retirement Impact and Recognition

Since his retirement, Preisler has remained active, serving as Le Sueur County Commissioner, where his background in agriculture policy, service mindset, and teamwork make him a natural fit.

Preisler’s contributions have not gone unnoticed, earning him various awards, including the 2017 Ag Mafia Distinguished Service Award, the 2020 University of Minnesota College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences Outstanding Friend, and the 2021 Minnesota AgriGrowth Distinguished Service Award.

Anderson summarized Preisler’s legacy, stating, “Dave approached his work with integrity and determination and above all else, prioritized doing what was best for Minnesota’s pig farmers.”

Preisler’s enduring passion for agriculture and rural communities has left an indelible mark on the Minnesota pork industry, shaping its success and ensuring a legacy of leadership and service.