James Lamb and Zack McCullen, farmers from Clinton, served as delegates to the Pork Act Delegate assembly March 6-8 in Kansas City, Mo. Lamb and McCullen were appointed as a delegate by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
“It was important to me to represent pork producers from across the U.S. as a Pork Act Delegate,” said Lamb. “As an industry, when we stand united and work toward a common goal we can yield positive results for pork producers.”
Lamb and McCullen were two of 156 delegates who traveled from across the country to represent pork producers and importers who sell pork products in the United States. The duties of a delegate include nominating members to serve on the National Pork Board; establishing how much of the Pork Checkoff is returned to state pork organizations; and providing direction on the pork promotion, research and consumer information priorities funded by the Pork Checkoff.
America’s pork producers contribute 40 cents of every $100 of sales to the Checkoff, and importers use a sales formula to contribute a similar amount. The role of the Pork Checkoff is to promote and enhance consumer demand for pork on a global basis; invest in research designed to improve production practices and safeguard the pork supply, environment, and animal well-being; and educate America’s pig farmers on modern livestock production practices through sharing techniques, training and certification programs.
The National Pork Board earlier approved a 2014 budget for national spending of $64.0 million for promotion, research and education programs. The work of the Pork Checkoff is centered on protecting the ability of farmers to produce pork, reposition pork’s image, and enable producers to remain highly competitive on a global basis.
Included in the 2014 budget is approximately $26.5 million focused on increasing domestic consumer pork expenditures
“We know from our research that more Americans are enjoying fresh pork more frequently,” said McCullen. “A recent tracking study indicated that the size of the Pork Checkoff’s consumer target has grown to 43 percent of U.S. households, up from 27 percent in 2010. This growth indicates that the Pork Be inspired® campaign is making a difference in the marketplace.”
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health, pork safety and environmental 800-456-7675 or check the Internet at www.pork.org.