By Carrie Webster
Logging over 40,000 miles to appear at 28 events in 2017, the Pork Checkoff’s We CareSM trailer continues to serve as a rolling billboard for the pork industry.
“While these events help share the great taste of pork with consumers, it’s evolved into more than that,” said Sharlotte Peterson, outreach project manager for the Pork Checkoff. “State associations and producer volunteers demonstrate the pork industry’s We Care ethical principles from coast to coast by reaching out to their communities.”
“The trailer gives us 10 times the value for every dollar we put into an event. For smaller states with limited resources, the trailer makes reaching consumers possible.”
– Joyce Kelly, Colorado Pork
Through the years, that has included hitting the road to serve meals to those impacted by hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters. For example, volunteers served more than 7,000 meals to those affected by the 2013 tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. The We Care trailer also has traveled to Texas’ annual Snowball Express, which benefits families of fallen military personnel.
For Amy Bradford, executive director of the Pennsylvania Pork Producers Council, the We Care trailer at events helps let consumers get to know the farmers who raise the pork they enjoy.
“The trailer is a vital part of our outreach program,” Bradford said. “It is the single best tool we can use to reach the most people in a short amount of time.”
“It is a great stepping off place to interact with the public,” Bradford said.
Pam Voelkel, events and promotions director for Minnesota Pork Board, agrees.
“People know when they see the trailer there is going to be great-tasting pork samples,” Voelkel said. “But we also have the opportunity to educate them on proper cooking temperatures. People are amazed at how good pork tastes when cooked to 145 degrees.”
In Utah, Allison Fiscus, executive director of the Utah Pork Producers Association, has had the trailer out for various events. This year, the trailer was at a Veterans Affairs Hospital in Salt Lake City.
“How else could you cook 500 pounds of pork to feed 1,500 people at once?” Fiscus asked. “The trailer allows us to lend a helping hand in our communities while our producers share their story with consumers.”
Joyce Kelly, Colorado Pork state executive, said, “The trailer gives us 10 times the value for every dollar we put into an event. For smaller pork-producing states with limited resources, the trailer makes reaching consumers possible.”
And that’s what it’s all about, says Peterson.
“Contributing to communities is one of the six We Care principles,” Peterson said. “The We Care trailer is another avenue to help state associations and producers reach out to consumers and to help them connect with America’s pig farmers.”