American Egg Board CEO Emily Metz Earns 2023 Emerging Leader Award; VP Innovation & Customer Engagement Nate Hedtke Named Innovator of the Year Finalist

(Chicago) June 16, 2023 – American Egg Board (AEB) senior executives were recognized as transformative industry leaders and drivers of innovation in agriculture last night with awards at Farm Foundation’s 90th Anniversary Gala. The awards honor leaders and change makers who exemplify Farm Foundation’s mission and values.

  • Farm Foundation 2023 Emerging Leader Award Winner: AEB President and CEO Emily Metz.
    The award “recognizes a leader in agriculture under age 40 who is on the trajectory to make transformational change within the agriculture and food sectors.” Metz has distinguished herself as a visionary and change agent among a new generation of senior leaders in agriculture. Since becoming CEO of the AEB in June of 2020 at age 32—and one of the youngest CEOs in U.S. agricultural commodities—Metz has restructured and modernized the national marketing checkoff and set forth a bold strategic vision with an eye toward agility, innovation and future-proofing the egg industry for long-term growth. Many of Metz’s achievements at AEB constitute egg industry firsts, including establishing the egg industry’s first proprietary insights hub and, notably, the egg industry’s first-ever innovation center.
  • 2023 Farm Foundation Innovator of the Year Award Finalist: AEB Vice President Innovation and Customer Engagement Nate Hedtke.
    The award recognizes “change makers that are integral to solving some of the most influential challenges facing the agriculture and food industries today.” As AEB’s vice president of innovation and customer engagement, food industry veteran Nate Hedtke led development and the successful launch late last year of the American Egg Board’s Eggcelerator Lab™—a network of innovation and insights capabilities, resources and expertise designed to bring new egg-based ideas to market. As the innovation center for the U.S. egg industry, the Eggcelerator Lab is developing market-ready products representing new uses for eggs and egg ingredients and new ways to consume eggs. Hedtke was a finalist along with two other nominees for the award and was recognized as such last night.

“To be recognized by Farm Foundation—an organization on a mission to accelerate practical solutions for agriculture—says more about our egg industry, our farmer leadership and members, and the AEB’s talented team of dedicated professionals than it does about any one person,” said Metz. “I am proud of our team and what we’ve accomplished, and I am honored and deeply grateful to work for a bold, proactive, risk-taking community of egg farmers who value feeding the world and safeguarding a bright future for eggs.”

“These leaders showcase the innovation, education and policy levers we use to advance our mission,” said Farm Foundation President and CEO Shari Rogge-Fidler. “They put their skills and experience to work to advance food and agriculture for the benefit of farmers and producers, their respective industries, and consumers everywhere. We are delighted to highlight their extraordinary impact.”


About the American Egg Board (AEB)

Home of the Incredible Egg, the AEB is the U.S. egg industry’s national commodity marketing organization. The AEB’s mission is to increase demand for eggs and egg products through research, education and promotion. The AEB is located in Chicago, Ill. For more, visit

About Farm Foundation

Farm Foundation is celebrating 90 years of accelerating practical solutions for agriculture. Its mission is to build trust and understanding at the intersections of agriculture and society. Its vision is building a future for farmers, our communities, and our world. Farm Foundation is located in Oak Brook, Ill. For more information, visit

Emily Metz

About Emily Metz

Emily Metz is president and CEO of the American Egg Board, the national marketing organization for the U.S. egg industry. In this role, she directs strategy and oversees national programs spanning consumer marketing and PR; CPG manufacturing and foodservice engagement and R&D; health and nutrition research and communications; and exports to drive demand for U.S. eggs and egg products domestically and abroad. Metz is a professional communicator, marketer and strategist who has built her career around a passion for agriculture in roles supporting U.S. dairy, beef, pork and poultry farmers. An attorney specializing in food and drug law, she has held communications, marketing and advocacy positions at the USDA, the Animal Agriculture Alliance, National Milk Producers Federation and, most recently, at the world’s largest animal genetics company, Genus Plc. She is delighted and honored to serve America’s egg farmers and support the nation’s love affair with the incredible egg.

Nate Hedtke

About Nate Hedtke

Nate Hedtke is vice president of innovation and customer engagement at the American Egg Board. An accomplished business leader with comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of marketing and sales, Hedtke has an impressive success record with large consumer packaged goods companies and private equity-owned organizations. Hedtke joined the AEB from Hospitality Mints, where he was VP of Marketing. He is also a 15-year veteran of Kraft Foods’ highly respected Foodservice Division. Hedtke got his start in marketing at Georgia-Pacific. He has a BA from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from Keller Graduate School.