Goal 1: Build Consumer Trust
Working collaboratively with food chain partners, the National Pork Board will enhance consumer trust in modern pork production by promoting producer adoption of on-farm management practices that reflect the industry’s ethical principles and by sharing its commitment to continuous improvement with consumers and key stakeholders.
2016 America’s Pig Farmer of the YearSM Named
In October, Brad Greenway of Mitchell, South Dakota, was named the 2016 America’s Pig Farmer of the YearSM. Following the announcement, Greenway and butcher Kari Underly, one of this year’s judges, met with Chicago media, including Reuters, Bloomberg Businessweek and What’s Cooking?, the CRN nationally syndicated radio show. They also interviewed with 28 television, radio and online media outlets reaching consumers around the country. Total media mentions reached 109 million people.
Supermarket Retailers Connect with the Farm
The Pork Checkoff hosted a group of up-and-coming food industry leaders from four key U.S. supermarket retailers for the annual retail pork education tour. The hands-on experience allowed the group to see how pigs are raised. Participants also became certified in the Pork Quality Assurance® Plus (PQA Plus®) program. They learned about producers’ focus on continuous improvement and their commitment daily to following the PQA good production practices and the We CareSM ethical principles.
PQA Plus® Program Is Revised
The PQA Plus program was revised to reflect pork producers’ commitment to continuous improvement. The program also now more fully incorporates the six We Care ethical principles and the important role of caretakers. In addition, the PQA Plus site assessment aligns with the Common Swine Industry Audit.
Pork Checkoff Continues Support of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance
The Pork Checkoff continued 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 enhance consumer trust in food production and strengthen collaboration within the food chain.
‘Pass the Pork’ Blogger Tour Makes Impact
To help consumers learn more about today’s pork production, the Pass the Pork blogger tour was held prior to October’s National Pork Month. The tour invited food bloggers from across the country to learn more about today’s pork production and the versatility of pork. Each blogger posted updates during and after the tour on multiple social media channels, resulting in nearly 2.4 million impressions – the number of people who saw the content.
#RealPigFarming Connects with Consumers
#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 to make connections with consumers. During 2016, consumers were invited to meet the nation’s real pig farmers through fun videos, blogs and social media posts.
Pork Producers Lead the Way in On-Farm Antibiotic Stewardship
When new FDA guidelines for on-farm antibiotic use went into effect on Jan. 1, pork producers were ready in part because of the Checkoff’s Don’t Wait… Be Ready campaign. Printed materials and trade show presentations, along with print, digital and radio ads, educated producers about what the changes would mean for on-farm antibiotic use.
In 2016, the Pork Checkoff invested $669,000 in five research areas that included defining alternative antibiotic technologies, studying the environmental fate of antibiotics and better understanding the impact of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Programs Showcase Producers’ Commitment to Antibiotic Stewardship to Consumers
The Pork Checkoff participated in multiple programs to demonstrate to consumers that America’s pig farmers are committed to antibiotic stewardship, animal well-being and food safety.
The National Pork Board hosted a national dialogue called Resistance: The Antibiotic Challenge. The Washington, D.C., event brought together key opinion leaders from human health, animal health, government, pharmaceutical, retail and consumer segments to discuss the challenge of responsible antibiotic use in the 21st century. Earlier in the year, another joint dialogue occurred when the Checkoff and the American Public Health Association discussed the shared responsibility of reducing the need for antibiotics.
Tools Created To Help Producers Prepare for a Common Swine Industry Audit
The Common Swine Industry Audit, which builds on the Pork Quality Assurance Plus® program, serves as a single, common audit platform for the pork industry. This past year, the Pork Checkoff developed four computer-based modules to explain the key areas of the audit and to expand producer understanding. An online toolkit also was made available to help producers create Standard Operating Procedures that are specific to their farm.
On-Farm Euthanasia of Swine Info Shared
In partnership with the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, an updated On-Farm Euthanasia of Swine brochure was released. The updates were based on new research, with the goal of aiding producers in making these key decisions.
Operation Main Street Expands Reach
Operation Main Street speakers expanded their outreach to key food influencers to help drive consumer trust and demand for pork. Two new programs were launched to connect speakers with retailers and other food chain audiences and to reach healthcare professionals, including physicians and nurse practitioners.