Kent J. Swisher has been named the incoming president & CEO of the North American Renderers Association (NARA). He will also serve as president of the Fats and Proteins Research Foundation (FPRF), the rendering industry’s research organization. Kent will assume leadership upon the retirement of current NARA president and CEO, Nancy Foster, on December 31.
Swisher brings extensive experience and expertise in agriculture, rendering, export marketing, trade policy, regulatory affairs, and management to his new position as president & CEO. He has worked for the North American Renderers Association (formerly the National Renderers Association) for over 18 years directing the association’s export market development programs.
“Kent will be a strong asset for the rendering industry and the North American Renderers Association as our next president & CEO,” said NARA Chairman Doyle Leefers of the National Beef Packing Company LLC. “His years of experience in international market development will complement the current staff to provide high value for our membership in the years ahead.”
As NARA’s Senior Vice President for International Programs, Swisher currently implements marketing and market access programs for rendered products throughout the world and represents the U.S. rendering industry in international trade negotiations. He is a member of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee on Animals and Animal Products, and oversees NARA’s offices in Hong Kong, Mexico City, and several consultants worldwide.
“Renderers will benefit from Kent’s extensive experience and knowledge as NARA’s new president & CEO,” said Nancy Foster. “NARA will be well positioned for the future as he leads the industry forward.”
During Swisher’s work at NARA, he has contributed over 40 publications on behalf of the rendering industry, including an annual market report featured in each April issue of Render magazine, the rendering industry’s trade publication. He regularly speaks publicly on rendering and trade topics in the U.S. and abroad and is actively involved in the World Renderers Organization (WRO). In addition to his new appointment as president and CEO of NARA, and president of FPRF, Swisher will also assume the role of secretariat of the WRO.
“I am honored and humbled to be chosen for this position,” said Swisher. “I look forward to continuing my work at NARA in this new role alongside our many dedicated and talented members, staff, and consultants. I know that together we can achieve great things for the rendering industry.”
Prior to NARA, Swisher worked with the Continental Grain Company, U.S. Grains Council, and the American Seed Trade Association. He was raised on a grain and livestock farm in Central Indiana where his family still farms.