2017 Pork Industry Forum Highlights

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Highlights from Pork Industry Forum activities and the collaboration seen within the industry


Don Wick


Jan Archer, National Pork Board, President




Don Wick:  00:01  From the Pork Checkoff in Des Moines Iowa it’s Pork Pod! Pork Pod, a look at the hot topics in today’s pork industry. The Pork Checkoff is working for you through various forms of research, promotion and consumer information projects. This is Don Wick speaking on behalf of the Pork  Checkoff. And today our guest is Jan Archer, President of the National Pork Board. Of course the National Pork Industry Forum in Atlanta wrapping up. And Jan give us an update. Jan a large supply that we’ve got within the meat industry and the pork business in particular. What’s the focus for the Pork Board as we move forward?

Jan Archer:  00:40  Well there’s definitely a plan and we talk about we talked about moving mountains. And certainly the need is one of the mountains that we’re talking about moving but it’s more than that it’s a bigger concept than that. The Pork  Board has always faced challenges. And frankly I think we thrive on the challenges. If you give us a goal we’re going to exceed it. And that’s exactly what I think is going to happen right now. We do have a lot of meat coming onto the market. And that’s the result of a growing vibrant industry. That’s nothing but exciting. That’s nothing but exciting. So that’s great. That is a great value opportunity for our customers and people are really seizing on that. I think you will see as you travel around the country pork is on trend. Let me tell you I’m 61 years old.

Jan Archer:  01:26  I’ve never been on trend in my life, but I feel like I am on trend right now. We are cool. Pork is cool and people are looking at innovative ways to use it, innovative ways to market it. There’s a team of really talented people that are working to promote the product that we’re producing.

Don Wick:  01:48  Jan, It sounds like there’s a lot of optimism coming out of Atlanta.

Jan Archer:  01:52  There are a lot of optimism here. As I say this is just an energizing place to be. People are excited about what’s going on. I can’t tell you how many times we heard presentations yesterday and frankly I got a little misty because people are excited and we’ve got some new innovative ways to market the pork that we’re producing. Probably the old days of buying a TV commercial it’s just not as effective as it used to be. And I’m really proud of the Pork Board understands that, they’ve adjusted their marketing plan and we’re using a lot of social media. And that’s the way that we’re really meeting the generation of our consumers where they are, which is on their telephone and on their iPads. And as they’re moving we’re going to be marketing that way. The standalone grocery stores are being joined by some really different ways to market product, whether it’s product delivered to your door or whether it’s something like Amazon go where you walk into a store and walk out and never pass the cash register.

Jan Archer:  02:57  I’m really proud to be part of an industry that understands that things are changing and they’re not resistant to that change. They’re embracing it.

Don Wick:  03:04  But things like social media. Does that include more opportunity for producer involvement?

Jan Archer:  03:09  It absolutely can. And I think that you’ve seen some producers that have really stepped up to the plate. You saw Brad Greenway as our American’s Pig Farmer of the year and he’s just the rock star. You know, he’s amazing, he’s relatable he is absolutely honest and transparent. I love having him represent me. And now we have America’s pig farmers of tomorrow series the nominal young people who all really look at our industry from a little different perspective. We have Mattie Schaefer who I always tell her she’s my classic FFA girl. She’s a seventh generation farmer. She’s she’s bright. She’s really comfortable at the microphone. She’s really comfortable talking to media. She is a people person and she wants to talk about her industry. And we have Logan Thornton who is a second generation farmer from Idaho, a young farmer with three young children. They have a fairly small direct market operation in Idaho and he’s just on the farm every day and he wants to talk about what he doesn’t know how much he cares about not only the food that he’s producing but the people that he’s producing it for because that includes his own children.

Jan Archer:  04:28  And then Kyle Coble from New Fashion Pork who is a nutritionist. So he’s a scientist, he understands science. And when we have some of those questions that are really science based, boy he can jump in there and really use a vocabulary that I don’t get to use everyday so I’m probably not the person to be answering those questions but he is really comfortable in that role. So three dynamic young people that are representing us and it just I I tell people yesterday they make me feel like a slacker because they that at the age that they’re at are already so poised and so intelligent and are ready to stand on that mountain top that we’re talking about and talk about what we do really exciting.

Don Wick:  05:11  During forum there is an online broadcast about responsible use of antibiotics.  Jan, how did that go?

Jan Archer:  05:20  It went great. I was in the room. I haven’t had an opportunity to watch it. Watch the video feed of it. I was there for the live feed and it was phenomenal. And we had over 60000 people on the other end watching that broadcast. And since then everybody’s phone has been ringing and we’ve been receiving text saying how can we get copies of that. That answers my consumer’s questions? Where did that come from? Can I can I embed that in my web site?

Jan Archer:  05:47  So really, really successful and it emphasized exactly what we’re trying to say which is we are part of the One World Health solution. We want everyone to be healthy including, our animals so healthy animals make for safe product. We don’t want to use any antibiotics that we don’t have to use. And we talk about judicious use, and then this idea is exactly what does that mean. It means using the very least we possibly can to make sure that our animals are healthy but our population is healthy too and document and how we do that. You know and our veterinary oversight which is so important and and it’s important that our consumers and our customers understand how critical those veterinarians are in their decision making process.

Don Wick:  06:35  Of course the delegate session taking place at Forum as well.  What is your message from the podium, Jan?

Jan Archer:  06:39  You know the message is we have phenomenal people working for our producers, to move their product and represent what they do. As a producer,  I just can’t tell you how exciting it is for me personally to have the staff of the National Pork Board to know that they have my back. I it takes a village and they’re my village and they are the village where every producer in this country. And our delegates are part of that responsibility too. They know they’re here they’re giving their time they could be back on their farm and working and probably want to be. But they know how important this is. And I would encourage every producer to get out there and get involved. The people that you meet here are going to enrich our lives and give you information and inform you in a way that no other organization can possibly do.

Jan Archer:  07:34  I had someone asked me the first day  “So what do I expect from an event like this?”.  I said “ Well there is no other event like this. This is it. This is unique.”  And the ability to have producers to be part of the dialogue and to tell the board what they think to help guide our decision making. That’s  really impressive and that’s unique in our industry and it’s something that we should be proud of and we are proud of.

Don Wick:  08:01  Thanks to you for listening to this edition of Pork Pod. For more information on this topic or the Pork Checkoff itself, visit pork.org.