New University of Colorado research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, reports meat, such as pureed pork, can be an important source of much-needed protein in infant diets during the transition to solid foods. Introducing meat, complementary to formula or breastfeeding, starting at 5 months may be beneficial.

Through April 30, Operation Main Street volunteer speakers have devoted 57,530 hours collectively to help tell pork’s story. Of the 1,393 producer and other speakers, there are now 103 OMS 2.0 speakers, including 130 veterinarians. And 36 OMS volunteers are now trained to address food-chain audiences. To date, 9,564 presentations have been made to civic groups, high school culinary classes, veterinary students, dietitians, chefs or retailers associations and other groups.

The Checkoff is partnering with the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research by jointly investing $2 million for a competitive research program to improve pig health, productivity and well-being. The end goal is to improve pig survival during all stages of production. The money is being awarded to one scientifically diverse group of researchers willing to pool talent and resources to make a significant, immediate impact on pig survival.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, millennials, born from 1982 to 2000, total 83.1 million people, or 25 percent of the U.S. population, and now outnumber baby boomers. Meanwhile, about one in five people in the United States, or 55 million, is Hispanic, the largest ethnic minority. The Pork Checkoff’s new business-to-business marketing approach will reach these key audiences.

Earlier this year, the Pork Checkoff channel marketing team worked with three universities in ongoing efforts to reach young consumers. Pork recipe guidance, nutrition information and more were shared with dining chefs and staff at the University of Iowa, the University of Washington and Stanford University.

Last year, the National Pork Board had 541 interactions with 203 media outlets seeking information about 60 different pork-related topics, ranging from exports to antibiotics. The Pork Board also sends three reports per week to 2,000 National Association of Farm Broadcasting radio stations across the U.S., sharing news and information about Pork Checkoff programs.

At the 22nd World Meat Congress, 700 key pork, beef, lamb and veal stakeholders from more than 30 countries converged on Dallas May 30 to June 1. It was the first time that the conference, held every two years, had taken place in the United States in over 20 years. U.S. pork industry leaders who attended made valuable contacts that will help grow exports in the months and years to come.