Timeline

1914 – Initial Meeting of the National Swine Growers Association

National Swine Growers Association-1914
Initial Meeeting of the National Swine Growers Association. Fort Dearborn Hotel, Chicago, Illinois. December 2, 1914.

 

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National Swine Growers Council formed

National Swine Growers Council formed to pursue goal of developing a leaner, meat-type hog and to develop more pork-specific promotion funding.

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1966 – The “Moline 90”

1966 – Meeting of 90 pork producers – the “Moline 90” – in Moline, Ill., results in $40,000 “Get Ready” fund to launch a national voluntary market checkoff.

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1967

The first voluntary market checkoff funds are collected in six pilot counties in Iowa and Illinois.

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1968 – industry launches “Nickels for Profit”

1968-nickelPork industry launches first national, pork-specific voluntary producer checkoff. Called “Nickels for Profit,” the program is based on a checkoff of five cents per hog.

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1972 – Introduction of October Pork Month

Pork industry starts celebrating October as National Pork Month.

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1977

dimeVoluntary producer checkoff is raised to 10 cents per head.

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1985 – Pork Act signed into law

1985 The Pork Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act of 1985 is signed into law. Known as the Pork Act, it provides a national, legislative Checkoff on sales of market hogs, breeding stock, imported hogs and pork products.

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1986 National legislative Checkoff begins

National legislative Checkoff begins, with initial rate at 0.25 of one percent of the market value of each hog.

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1987 – Pork. The Other White Meat® campaign introduced

The well-known national promotion campaign, Pork. The Other White Meat®, is introduced and through the Pork Checkoff begins repositioning pork as a lean, nutritious protein source.

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1988 – World Pork Expo debuts

World Pork ExpoThe first World Pork Expo at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, attracts 60,000 people.

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BBQlossal at World Pork Expo

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1989 – McDonald’s Markets the McRib®

Technology developed with producer Checkoff funds is used by McDonald’s nationally to market The McRib® pork sandwich.

McRib advertisement

McRib

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1989 – Pork Quality Assurance® (PQA) Program is introduced

The Checkoff’s Pork Quality Assurance® (PQA) Program is introduced. The producer education and management program emphasizes good management practices in the handling and use of animal health products.
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1990 – Checkoff-funded Market Basket Study

The Checkoff-funded Market Basket Study examines the nutrient composition of pork at supermarkets nationwide. It reinforces the Pork. The Other White Meat® slogan, and shows that pork is, on average, 31 percent leaner than it was 10 years before due to pork producers responding to consumers wanting leaner pork. Notably, the study identifies the eight cuts of pork that are as lean as chicken.

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1995 – United States becomes a net exporter

Through Checkoff-funded promotions and focus on market development activities, the United States becomes a net exporter of pork for the first time in more than 40 years.

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1995 – Environmental Assurance Program launched

The Environmental Assurance Program (EAP) is launched to help producers meet environmental challenges.

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1995 – Checkoff-funded Terminal Line Genetic Evaluation Program

1995 Results of the Checkoff-funded Terminal Line Genetic Evaluation Program are released. It is the largest unbiased study of genetic lines in U.S. pork industry.

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1995

At the request of producers, Pork Checkoff increases to 0.45 of one percent (45 cents per $100 value). This checkoff rate stays the same until 2002.

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1996 – Second Market Basket Study

The second Market Basket Study confirms the comparable fat content between pork cuts and poultry cuts. This Checkoff-funded study also reinforces the initial Market Basket Study that provided revised data for USDA’s pork nutrient database, which continues to be used by nutritionists as a standard food reference.

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1998

United States becomes the second largest pork exporter in the world.

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1998 – U.S. Government Imposes HACCP Rules on Packers

The U.S. government imposes Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) rules on packers. The Pork Quality Assurance® (PQA) Program provides producers a mechanism to comply.

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2000 – U.S.D.A. Point-In-Time National Study of the U.S. Swine Industry

The Pork Checkoff plays a key role in shaping the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s point-in-time national study of the U.S. swine industry. Results are distributed in the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS).

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2000 – Pork. The Other White Meat® fifth most recognized tagline in contemporary advertising.

TOWMA Northwestern University study ranks the Pork. The Other White Meat® slogan as the fifth most recognized tagline in contemporary advertising.

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2001 – Changes from the Pork Checkoff agreement with USDA

Changes from the Pork Checkoff agreement with USDA take effect July 1. The Pork Checkoff has its own location, accounting system and staff to expand domestic and foreign markets, conduct research and provide consumer information.

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2001 – Transport Quality Assurance® (TQA®) Program Starts

The Checkoff-funded Transport Quality Assurance® (TQA®) program starts, providing information on proper techniques to use when handling, loading and transporting hogs. By 2005, 330 trainers are certified to administer TQA examinations and more than 10,000 drivers are certified in the program.

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2002 – The Pork Checkoff Rate Drops

The Pork Checkoff rate drops 5 cents, to $0.40 per $100 of value for hogs sold in the United States.

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2002 – Producer Service Center Launched

The new Pork Checkoff Service Center, now called the Producer Service Center, is launched to answer calls from individual pork producers at (800) 456-PORK (7675).

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2002

Checkoff-funded research determines that consumers spend an average of four minutes deciding what to buy in the meatcase, compared with one minute in other parts of the store. By showing that consumers take time to make their decisions at the meatcase, this research indicates that point-of-purchase promotions can be an effective way to bring pork to their attention.

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2002 – Biosecurity and Security Guides

Security_CoverCheckoff-funded research leads to the development of Biosecurity and Security Guides.

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2002 – Consumer’s Choice Pork AwardsSM

Pork Checkoff launches Consumer’s Choice Pork AwardsSM to showcase best new pork-based products in supermarkets.

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2003

More than 480 producers participate in promotions related to Checkoff’s racing sponsorship. Some 61.7 million pounds of pork were sold in race-related promotions, up nearly 15 million pounds from 2002.

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2003 – Swine Welfare Assurance ProgramSM Launched

SWAP4colorThe Pork Checkoff launches the Swine Welfare Assurance ProgramSM supported by science-based research. The education and assessment program allows producers to demonstrate the care and well-being of their animals. This initiative was led by the pork producer members of the Animal Welfare Committee.

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2003 – The Pork Checkoff has Two Primary Internet Sites

The Pork Checkoff has two primary Internet sites: pork.org primarily for pork producers and TheOtherWhiteMeat.com for consumers.

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2003 – U.S. Record Pork Exports

The United States continues to export more pork, setting a new record for pork exports for the 12th consecutive year.

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2003 – Checkoff Retail Promotions Sell Pork

Checkoff-funded retail promotions help sell more pork. In 2003, the Checkoff invested $1.1 million in retail promotions, or about 42 percent of the cost of the promotions. Retail partners sold 573 million pounds of pork, 16 percent more than during 2002.

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2004 – New Ad Campaign Launched

An advertising and information campaign for consumers who are counting carbohydrates is launched. New ads point out pork’s great taste and versatility: “Not all proteins are created equal.”

2004 pork ad

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2004 – Operation Main Street Program Launched

OPERATIONMAINST_ill9The Operation Main Street program is launched to help train producers to share pork’s positive story, helping those not in pork production understand the value and importance of pork production to their local community.

 

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2004 – Pork Quality Assurance® Program Celebrates 15 Years

The Pork Quality Assurance® program celebrates 15 years of helping pork producers contribute to a healthy and safe food supply. Pork Checkoff launches the Youth PQA Program for youth ages 9 to 18.

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2004 – Hispanic Marketing Program Expanded

HispanicAdThe Pork Checkoff expands the Hispanic Marketing program to a dozen markets from five, continuing to share information that pork is lean and nutritious. The Hispanic Marketing initiative starts with Checkoff-funded research in 2001.

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2004 – Distance Learning Courses Added

Through the Pork Checkoff, seven distance learning courses allow producers and their employees easy access to the latest production information via CD-ROM or the Internet.

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2004 – Animal Science Committee Created

The Pork Checkoff creates the Animal Science Committee to serve producer needs for production and animal science-related information and research.

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2004 – Consumer Website Reaches 60,000 Visitors

TheOtherWhiteMeat.com is the Checkoff’s direct connection to consumers on the Internet. On average, more than 60,000 unique visitors come to TheOtherWhiteMeat.com each month.

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2005 – Checkoff Launches Don’t be blah!® Campaign

Grillmarks1The Pork Checkoff successfully launches the new Don’t be blah™ campaign, an extension of The Other White Meat, to revitalize pork and reconnect with consumers.

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2005 – U.S. Becomes the World’s Largest Pork Producer

iStock_000003758507MediumAmerica’s pork producers continue to grow sales abroad, with the United States becoming the largest pork exporter.

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2005 – Checkoff Launches Take Care™ Program

TakeCarePMS
The Checkoff launches the Take Care™: Use Antibiotics Responsibly program, which defines how antibiotics should be used in pork production. This program helps identify pork producers as responsible stewards and caretakers, who are concerned with public health.

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2006 – Pork Checkoff and Soybean Checkoff Partner

2007_State_coopThe Pork Checkoff and the Soybean Checkoff partner to create an informational campaign to help spread the word about the positive impact pork producers have on the local community.

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2006 – PRRS Initiative Funds Research Projects

PRRS2009SymposiumThe Pork Checkoff’s Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) Initiative, has funded 18 research projects. Research needs are identified and prioritized so the USDA, university researchers, Extension personnel, animal health companies, state and federal agencies and swine veterinarians can work together to map out a plan to successfully manage and eliminate PRRS in the U.S. swine herd. It is estimated that PRRS costs U.S. producers $650 million annually.

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2006 – Web-based Air Management Practices Assessment Tool Designed

A Web-based Air Management Practices Assessment Tool is designed to assist producers in identifying practices to address air quality issues on their farm in the areas of animal housing, manure storage and land application.

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2007 – U.S. Pork Exports Broke Records For the 16th Consecutive Year

U.S. Pork exports broke records for the 16th consecutive year. Exports totaled 1.3 million metric tons, nearly 2.9 billion pounds, at a value exceeding $3.15 billion.

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2007

Over 1,600 Operation Main Street presentations reach over 44,000 people. The Neighbor-to-Neighbor program, a three-hour short-course to help producers answer tough questions, trains 715 producers.

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2007 – The Pork Quality Assurance® Plus (PQA Plus®) Introduced

The Pork Quality Assurance® Plus (PQA Plus®) program is introduced to pork producers at World Pork Expo. The workable, affordable, credible on-farm program answers customers’ questions about animal care and food safety. Over 5,300 producers are certified.

PQAPlusAssessmentWKBK
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2007

A study of the economic value of Pork Checkoff programs concludes that the Checkoff has a significantly positive effect on the demand for hogs and pork. Specific results indicate that producers would gain an additional $13.80 for each additional $1 of program expenditures.

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2008 – Historically Unprecedented High Feed Costs

Historically unprecedented high feed costs lead to one of the most challenging times in history for pork producers. The blow, softened only by record-high market hog prices, causes many producers extreme financial distress. The Pork Checkoff provides producers tools to work with their lenders and information to help weather the storm, including how to take advantage of marketing opportunities and identify opportunities to improve efficiency in their production.

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2008 – We Care® Joint Industry Initative Launched

We_Care_Logo_3d_black_regThe We Care®, joint industry initiative is launched to help build consumer trust. Six ethical principles outline producers’ commitment to producing safe food, while protecting animal well-being, natural resources, public health and the environment, as well as contributing to their communities.

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2008 – The Other White Meat® Tour Launched

TOWMtour08The Pork Checkoff launches The Other White Meat® Tour, designed to involve consumers in a pork experience. The tour reaches pork’s consumer target audience with stops at 23 high-traffic events across the U.S. The tour stops celebrate pork’s positive benefits through cooking demonstrations, product sampling and one-on-one interactions.

TOURTRUCK

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2008 – Guy Fieri Becomes Pork’s New Spokesperson

OWMTmeatcase
Pork’s new spokesperson Guy Fieri, one of the rising stars of the Food Network Channel, excites consumers about pork’s personality, flavor and fun during promotions.GUY1

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2009 – H1N1 Outbreak

Beginning in April, news coverage of H1N1, or “swine flu” as it was erroneously referred to by the media, added to an already challenging economic time for producers. It was estimated that producers lost more than $2 billion after the outbreak of H1N1.

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2009 – Operation Main Street Celebrates It’s 5th Anniversary

Operation Main Street celebrates its 5th anniversary. More than 750 participants have made over 3,500 presentations, reaching millions of people through their talks and media coverage.

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2009 – TheOtherWhiteMeat.com Web Site Redesigned

The redesigned TheOtherWhiteMeat.com Web site features over 1,700 recipes and a new look to make it even easier for consumers to find the basics on pork cooking. The site remains the Checkoff’s go-to source for all things pork for consumers.

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2009 – PQA Plus® Hits 40,000 Certified Users

Over 40,000 producers and employees are certified in PQA Plus®, the most ever since the program’s inception in 1989. And over 7,000 on-farm site assessments are completed, representing nearly 30 percent of the total U.S. hog inventory.

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2010 – Operation Main Street Reaches New Milestone

Over 4,000 speeches have been given by more than 800 volunteer speakers in 30 states through Operation Main Street. Through presentations in rural communities and urban centers, almost 116,000 consumers and opinion leaders heard firsthand about the pork industry’s innovation, stewardship and economic impact. More than 17 million people saw positive pork industry news coverage based on an Operation Main Street programs.

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2010 – Household Segmentation Study

Pork producers are energized about a new approach to selling more pork to consumers. Extensive research, including a 7,500-household segmentation study, is conducted to define pork’s best marketing prospects.

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2010 – The Other White Meat® Protected as a Heritage Brand

With nearly 90 percent of Americans aware of Pork – The Other White Meat® , the pork industry recognizes the value of the trademark, opting to continue its use and protecting it as a heritage brand.

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2011 – Pork Be Inspired® Tracking Study

Early results from a tracking study that measured the impact of the first two months of the Pork Be inspired® campaign finds that Checkoff product marketing is beginning to change consumer perceptions and attitudes about pork, supporting sales even as pork prices increased.

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2011 The Pork Be inspired® Brand Campaign is Launched

BeInspired-bedeliciousThe Pork Be inspired® brand campaign is launched in April to increase consumer per capita pork expenditures by 2014. The new campaign focuses on “pork champions,” or adults who have the greatest potential to increase their consumption because they already love pork.

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2011 – Carbon Footprint for Pork Production Research

V1logoPork Checkoff-funded research measured and identified the overall carbon footprint for pork production, helping to make pork producers even more efficient in their use of resources. The Pork Checkoff worked with researchers to create the Live Swine Carbon Footprint Calculator, a producer-friendly software tool. The tool calculates greenhouse gas emissions involved in sow and grow-finish production, helping producers identify areas for potential improved efficiency.

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2012 – Champions of Biosecurity Booklet Updated

The Checkoff collaborates with state and federal animal and public health officials to educate exhibitors and fairgoers on best practices to reduce influenza transmission. In conjunction with the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, the Pork Checkoff updated the Champions of Biosecurity booklet to help augment biosecurity for swine show exhibitors and to provide a resource for the human health component of swine shows when dealing with influenza.

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2012 – 50 Year Sustainability Study

PORK-Infographic-Final_hiresA Checkoff-funded study shows how the pork industry’s gains in production efficiency over the last 50 years have positively affected the industry’s environmental impact. The study showed a 35 percent decrease in the carbon footprint, a 41 percent decrease in water usage and a 78 percent drop in land needed to produce a pound of pork.

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2012 – Drought Brings on Record High Production Costs

The 2012 drought is the worst to hit the U.S. since the 1950s. Record-high corn, soybean and soybean meal prices drive hog production costs to record levels, resulting in average losses of $9.87/head in 2012 and projected losses of $6.41/head in 2013 based on Oct. 25 lean hogs futures prices.

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2013 – Record Increase in Real Per Capita Consumer Expenditures for Pork

The momentum of the Pork Be inspired® campaign continues, with a record increase in real per capita consumer expenditures for pork. Consumers who fall into the Pork Checkoff’s “champion” target grow to 43 percent of U.S. households, up from 27 percent in 2010. More consumers are open to pork and rate it higher.

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2013 – Checkoff Expands Education and Professional Certification Programs

The Checkoff expanded its education and professional certification programs, all centered on the pillars of the We Care® commitment to food safety, the environment, animal well-being, worker safety and community connection. Certifications reach an all-time high, with more than 60,000 individuals certified in PQA Plus® certified, with nearly 16,500 sites assessed.

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2013 – Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV) Identified in the U.S.

PEDfsBook4-1Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV) is identified for the first time in the United States in May. The virus, similar to transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE), only affects pigs and poses no risk to humans or food safety. By the end of the year, confirmed cases are reported in 22 states. The Pork Checkoff invests over $1 million to conduct research, working with the world’s foremost researchers to find real-world solutions, such as new biosecurity measures and updated protocols for…

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2013 – Pork Becomes Fastest-Growing Protein in the Foodservice Industry

With a growth rate outpacing all other proteins in foodservice, pork is hot. According to Technomic Inc.’s 2013 Volumetric Assessment of Pork in Foodservice, pork was the fastest-growing protein in the foodservice industry over the past two years. Total pork sold through foodservice outlets reached a record-breaking 9.25 billion pounds, up 462 million pounds from the previous 2011 survey.

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2013 – Pork Checkoff Simplifies Pork Cut Names and updates package labeling

ribeye-chopResearch conducted by the National Pork Board and the National Cattleman’s Beef Association shows consumers are often confused by different names for similar cuts in the meatcase and don’t know how to cook them. To overcome this challenge, the Pork Checkoff simplifies pork cut names and updates package labeling with basic usage and preparation information. Several pork cuts, such as the ribeye pork chop and t-bone pork chop, now match their beef cut counterparts, creating easier…

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2015 – Annual Pork Education Tour

The Pork Checkoff opens the barn doors for 20 leaders from 11 of the major supermarket retailers for the annual pork education tour. The group spends two days on an Indiana Farm learning about how Pork is produced and getting their questions answered by the farmers producing the pork they sell.

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2015 – West Coast Port Slowdown

Due to a West Coast port slowdown, market access challenges, currency values and competition, U.S. pork exports are down 2 percent in volume and 16 percent in value in 2015 compared with 2014. Pork exports account for 24 percent of total 2015 pork and pork variety meat production. Export value per head average $48.31, down 23 percent from 2014. The Checkoff is committed to strengthening its partnership with our international customers and allocated funding toward focused in-country…

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2015

Including Pork in a balanced diet provides a nutrient dense source of protein. Scientific evidence shows that eating lean, high-quality protein like pork can help people lose or maintain weight by contributing to feeling full and by preserving lean muscle.

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2015 – The Pork Checkoff Continues to Work With Registered Dietitians

The Pork Checkoff continues to work with registered dietitians, sharing the benefits of pork in a healthy diet. Two education kits are produced and distributed to 10,000 dietitians and their clients. The Pork Checkoff conducts a baseline study of registered dietitians, with 64 percent saying that pork can be part of a healthy diet.

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2015 – Food Chain Partners Feature More Pork Products

In a year of record production, pork further solidifies its position as the go-to protein in the domestic marketplace. More food chain partners feature more pork products in 2015 than ever before. Pork’s usage in the foodservice channel represents 23 percent of the total protein sold through U.S. restaurants, growing at more than two times the rate of the foodservice industry as a whole. Similarly, pork represents 31 percent of total protein pounds sold through U.S. retail grocery…

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2015 – Seasonal Consumer Marketing Efforts Leverage Creativity

The seasonal consumer marketing efforts leverage creativity and inspiration with Creative Cooks (the Checkoff’s marketing target) and their love of pork. Campaigns focus on grilling, fall weather/food occasions and the giving spirit of the holidays. All of the campaigns leverage insights and messages for multicultural audiences.

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2015 – New TV Commercials Introduced

The Pork Checkoff’s new TV commercials, with the theme Make it Like This!, hit the mark with consumers. The commercials air in mid-May and through Sept. 20 on popular cable networks. The ads air on 25 cable TV networks, including HGTV, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, DIY Network, History, CMT, Food Network, Cooking Channel, TLC and GSN. The ads are broadcast during the traditional summer grilling holidays, from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

 

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2015

Despite pork production being up 8 percent and a drop in hog market value, demand is strong due to a loyal base of pork eaters. The real per capita consumer expenditure for pork is up 3 percent through December. Retail sales for the 52 weeks prior to Nov. 22 show a 2.7 percent increase in sales. Pork’s share of total pounds at retail through that date is up 1 percent. However, with high-priced beef, share of dollars at retail decreases 0.5 percent. Using USDA disappearance data, share…

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2015 – Checkoff Focuses on Swine Health

The Checkoff funds research and develops information and tools that pork producers can use for continual improvement in the area of swine health. Research priorities include Influenza A virus, porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), PRRS, Seneca Valley virus, potential emerging diseases, industry productivity analysis, animal welfare and feed efficiency.

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2015 – Workplace Safety Toolkit

The Pork Checkoff revises its Benchmarking Workplace Safety Tool to improve the ability to enter data and facilitate the capture of data at the production area level. The changes will allow meaningful comparison between entities and make it possible to measure a decrease in work-related injuries. The Workplace Safety Toolkit now features an interactive and module-based format similar to the popular Safe Pig Handling program.

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2015 – Foreign Animal Disease (FAD) Outbreak Remains Top Priority

Preparing for and controlling a foreign animal disease (FAD) outbreak remains a top priority for the Pork Checkoff. The capacity to detect and prepare for a (FAD) outbreak is increased through the distribution of kits containing FAD educational resources and through tabletop exercises held in Texas and Iowa. Efforts to finalize a packer and processor response strategy for FADs also progresses. This plan will increase the industry’s capacity to prepare and respond to the introduction of…

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2015 – Operation Main Street Speakers Surpass the 8,000 Mark

Presentations made by more than 1,000 trained Operation Main Street speakers from 42 states surpass the 8,000 mark. To date, more than 240,000 people have heard firsthand about today’s pork production, with media coverage reaching more than 34 million consumers. Audiences include civic groups, culinary classes, ag science classes, veterinary schools, veterinarian, dietitians and others.

 

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2015 – U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA)

The Pork Checkoff continues to be a leading supporter of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA). The farmer- and rancher-led organization engages in dialogue with consumers about how today’s food is grown and raised. By working together, the Pork Checkoff and other agriculture groups help enhance consumer trust in food production and strengthen collaboration within the food chain.

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2015 – National Pork Board Introduced Its Antibiotics Stewardship Plan

In June, the National Pork Board introduced its antibiotics stewardship plan and opened a dialogue with consumers, retailers and foodservice companies across the U.S. The Pork Checkoff is working to educate producers about changing regulations, to fund five key research priorities and to shape the dialogue with consumers and influencers about responsible on-farm antibiotic use.

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2015 – Checkoff Achieves Five-Year Goal

The Pork Checkoff met and surpassed the five-year goal of boosting per-capita pork expenditures by 10 percent within five years. The Pork Be Inspired® campaign, which launched in 2011, has highlighted the role of pork on any menu and in a variety of meals. The growth of pork expenditures in the last five years also can be attributed to the recent trend of a higher protein diet and the popularity of foodies looking for versatile foods.

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2015 – Pig Performance Environmental Footprint Calculator Is Updated

The Pig Performance Environmental Footprint Calculator is updated to aid producers in identifying and selecting operational improvements. The improvements will help improve operational efficiency, reducing carbon, water and land footprints. The calculator will serve as a base for reporting environmental stewardship performance.

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2015 – America’s Pig Farmer of the Year Is Announced

AmericasPigFarmer_NationalLogo_4C_PmsBlue540_PmsRed186_BlueSMKeith Schoettmer, a pig farmer from Tipton, Indiana, is named the first America’s Pig Farmer of the YearSM to help share the story of today’s U.S. pork production with mainstream media and influencer organizations. Through his work and commitment, he is personally putting a face on American pork production. During a New York City media tour, Schoettmer takes part in more than 30 interviews generate 31.7 million media impressions.

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2015 – Pork Blogger Tour

To help consumers learn more about today’s pork production, the Pass the Pork blogger tour is held in advance of October’s National Pork Month. Food bloggers from across the country attend and learn more about today’s pork production and the versatility of pork. Each blogger posts updates during and after the tour on multiple social media channels, resulting in nearly 8.5 million impressions – the number of people who saw the content.

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2015 – #RealPigFarming

real-pig-farming-2015#RealPigFarming, a social media campaign, continues to unite pork producers, allied industry members, youth and veterinarians to tell the story of today’s pork production and make connections with consumers. The hashtag (#) before the Real Pig Farming helps people search social media posts with the same phrase, making it easier for them to follow the conversation. During 2015, #RealPigFarming was used in nearly 110,000 posts with an overall reach of 22 million impressions.

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