BY CARISSA SITKI
The Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) held their annual meeting virtually on Feb. 9, during which, Alan Kollmann of Altamont was elected as the Association’s District 5 President for 2021. In honor of Kollmann’s election, the IPPA produced a video about Kolmann, including his work on the farm and his life.
Kollmann grew up in Altamont and is a third-generation farmer with a 1,000-head feeder to finish contract barn that finishes about 2,700 to 3,000 pigs per year, a 40 show pig commercial sale operation, and a small corn/soybean crop. He and his wife Michelle have four children, Jared, Eric, Justin, and Jenna.
In the IPPA video, Michelle stated that farming has always been a part of her husband’s life and that he and his brother have been around pigs since they were young children. Farming plays a role in their family and is noted in the video by Kollmann’s son, Jared, who said, “We’re a close family and farming brings us pretty close together.”
In addition to his work on the farm, Kollmann is active in the community. He serves as Secretary for the Altamont Unit 10 Board of Education, he’s involved with the Altamont Sports Boosters, acts as Superintendent of the Swine Show at the Effingham County Fair, and has been involved with the local 4-H. According to Kollmann, he wants to be there for the community that has always been there for him, “I’m an Altamont graduate and I’ve always wanted to stay involved with the community and give back as much as I can,” he said, “So many people have helped me along the way. Both businesses and individuals have provided me with so many opportunities over the years.”
Altamont Community Principal Jerry Tkachuk appeared in the IPPA video, as well, to speak about Alan, and said, “[Kollmann’s] terrific, the best place I get to watch that is to watch him being a dad at a basketball game. He’s completely engaged and he likes to see his kids do well, but just as importantly, he likes to see the team do well.” Tkachuk later mentions his admiration for Kollmann’s role as Altamont Unit 10 School Board secretary stating that he came without an agenda and always asks questions.
Kollmann has been on the IPPA board for around 11 years and has served under every title in the officer rotation over the past three years, holding positions of Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-President, President Elect, and now President. “It’s a four year step-up program, once you enter the program,” said Kollmann, “You start out as Secretary and pretty much select the year that you plan to become president.”
According to Kollmann, the IPPA executive team is responsible for making personnel decisions, including; raises and salaries for the office based off of recommendations given by the Executive Director.
The past few years Kollmann has served as the Chairperson for the Education and Youth Committee, according to him it’s been one of the most rewarding experiences he’s had with the Association. “With that Committee, I’m most proud of the things we’ve done for the 4-H youth and the show industry youth,” he said, “We’re educating those youth to be future leaders in our industry, whether it’s operating a building, or becoming an allied industry employee, or being a nutritionist, we show them educational opportunities through [web seminars], or by holding youth days.” During those youth days, Kollmann said that they have speakers come in who are industry professionals to give students the chance to learn about the different opportunities, in the field, that are available to them once they get older.
Kollmann said he has several goals for his presidency. One of those goals is to keep increasing the Pork Power Program, through which the Association has donated over one million pounds of pork to food banks since 2008. The benefitted food banks, according to Kollmann, stretch across the state, boarder to boarder, from St. Louis to Chicago. Another top priority for Kollmann is to ensure that their essential employees, like packing plant workers, all get the opportunity to get vaccinated against COVID-19. “It’s very essential for those workers to stay on the job because any type of disruption is detrimental to our industry,” said Kollmann, “We had to face so many different obstacles last year, like market interruptions and people being scared of going to work, so the opportunity to get all of our essential workers vaccinated is a huge priority.”
More information about the IPPA, and Kollmann, can be found on the Association’s website at ilpork.com.
The IPPA video that features Kollmann can be found on the IPPA’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ilporkproducers/videos/249847623197630
Kollmann told the News Banner that the video did a great job of accurately portraying him.