Mark Daughtry and James Lamb, farmers from Clinton served as delegates at the Pork Act Delegate assembly March 8-9 in Orlando, Fla. Daughtry and Lamb were named as delegates by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
They were two of 160 delegates who represented pork producers from across the country and importers who sell pork products in the United States. The delegates nominate members of the National Pork Board; establish how much of the Pork Checkoff is returned to state pork organizations; and provide direction to the pork promotion, research and consumer information programs that are funded by the Pork Checkoff. Producers contribute 40 cents of every $100 of sales to the Checkoff, and importers use a sales formula to contribute a similar amount. That money supports advertising and other pork promotion efforts; research into animal welfare, food safety, swine health and the environment; educational programs for producers; the We Care initiative, and other projects.
“From managing issues to promoting our product at home and internationally, Pork Checkoff programs are continually working toward the end results of yielding positive results for pork producers,” said Daughtry.
The National Pork Board earlier approved a 2013 budget for national spending of $69.8 million for programs of promotion, research and education to protect the ability of farmers to produce pork, to reposition pork’s image and to enable producers to remain highly competitive on a global basis.
Included in that amount was about $30.6 million focused on increasing domestic consumer pork expenditures.
“We know from research that a significantly larger percentage of Americans are enjoying fresh pork more frequently,” said Lamb. “One example comes from our marketing emphasis last year on pulled pork. That work resulted in significant growth of pulled pork items on restaurant menus.”
The Checkoff also is at work in ongoing programs that include efforts to provide science-based answers and educational opportunities including:
We Care, a responsible pork initiative, which is a coordinated effort of the National Pork Board and National Pork Producers Council to earn the trust of the pork industry’s customers and consumers.
Pork Quality Assurance® Plus (PQA Plus®), which is a three-part process that includes attending an educational and training session and then having an on-farm site evaluation to achieve PQA Plus site status. The program also includes a third component of random, statistically valid, third-party evaluation of program implementation. Results of those evaluations will show if the industry is improving its overall animal-care practices.
The Pork Checkoff is continuing research into the four pillars of environmental sustainability focusing on the water footprint in 2013. That research has shown that in the last 50 years there has been a 35 percent decrease in pork production’s carbon footprint; a 41 percent decrease in the amount of water used to produce a pound of pork;
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 management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at www.pork.org.