Bright Lights, Big Rewards

The massive light displays that greet you at New York City’s Times Square are always impressive, especially if you’re like me and grew up on a farm near a town with one traffic light (Audubon, Iowa). Keith Schoettmer, named America’s Pig Farmer of the YearSM, recently made his first trip to New York City on behalf of the nation’s pork producers. The city of bright lights and millions of people offered an ideal venue to share producers’ commitment to responsible pork production.

Through interviews with key media, the Indiana producer relayed the message that pig farmers are doing the right thing every day in their barns. The eight desk-side media interviews and 27 satellite interviews generated: 19.25 million impressions; 270 web, radio and TV airings; and 416 news release placements, including 176 websites. The total potential audience reached was 170 million consumers.

As consumers continue to ask about how their food is raised, programs, such as the America’s Pig Farmer of the Year award, and other initiatives that provide assurance are essential. The pull-out antibiotic infographic in the center of this issue is a new tool that the Pork Checkoff is using to let consumers know that the pork on their tables is safe for their families. The infographic illustrates how U.S. pork producers work with their veterinarians to use antibiotics responsibly to help keep people, pigs and the planet healthy.

We invite pork producers to join the conversation with consumers. Share on social media how you care for animals on your farm using #RealPigFarming. Speak up for pork by becoming an Operation Main Street speaker. In January, apply to be the next Pig Farmer of the Year award winner. Collectively, producers can reap big rewards as they work together to build consumer trust.