Examples of past and current collaboration include:
PRRS Host Genetics Consortium
This research was a collaboration of the National Pork Board, PRRS CAP (coordinated agricultural project), USDA, the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, Genome Canada, private companies and universities. The multi-year project looked at how host genetics influences the outcome of PRRS infection.
“The results continue to assist in vaccine efficacy, diagnostics and biomarkers linked to specific infection and growth outcomes,” said the Checkoff’s Dave Pyburn, DVM.
Secure Pork Supply Plan
The National Pork Board is partnering with state and federal government officials, the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases, Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota. USDA is the lead funding organization through its National Preparedness and Incident Coordination Center, which is part of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
“The Secure Pork Supply plan will help U.S. producers maintain business continuity in the event of a foreign animal disease,” Pyburn said. “Next spring, producers can officially register for the voluntary program. In the interim, more information is available at pork.org/fad and securepork.org.
Pig Health, Welfare and Productivity
In 2018, the Pork Checkoff’s Animal Science and Animal Welfare committees worked collaboratively to establish a significant research effort to improve pig health, welfare and productivity. The committees funded an interdisciplinary research effort with a $1 million Checkoff investment and collaborated with the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research for matching funds of another $1 million.
Sixteen Iowa State, Kansas State and Purdue researchers will conduct the project over the next five years.
“The significant expertise and resources devoted to research, outreach and training could fundamentally change the way pigs are managed,” Pyburn said.
Pork, Corn and Soybeans Collaboration
The Pork Board, National Corn Growers Association and United Soybean Board plan to collaborate on sustainability research and share the findings. This will provide cost savings to all three checkoffs, while providing improved and expanded information for pig and grain farmers who are committed to improving their carbon footprint while reducing water and land use and safeguarding water quality and soil health.
Commitment to Producers
“The Checkoff’s science and technology team isn’t satisfied to simply stay the course each year,” Pyburn said. “That’s why you will continue to see innovative and engaging initiatives that will benefit the entire industry.”
Ongoing areas of work include:
- Developing and refining antibiotic stewardship and on-farm solutions
- Making an additional investment in sow lifetime productivity research
- Moving ahead on foreign animal disease preparedness tools
Making progress on sustainability tools and key environmental benchmarks
- Hosting farm tours for customer and scientific influencers
- Creating on-farm tools to help improve overall needle-use procedures