Operation Main Street reaching new and influential audiences
Ernie Barnes, Director Producer Services, National Pork Board
Don Wick: 00:04 From the Pork Checkoff in Des Moines Iowa it’s Pork Pod! Pork Pod, a look at the hot topics in today’s pork industry. The Pork Checkoff is working for you through various forms of research, promotion and consumer information projects. This is Don Wick speaking on behalf of the Pork Checkoff. Today our guest is Ernie Barnes director producer services for the National Pork Board and Ernie oversees Operation Main Street. Ernie we’re reaching some new audiences here with Operation Main Street. Give us an update.
Ernie Barns: 00:30 Certainly are, most recently we’ve been reaching out to nurse practitioners. Matter of fact back in March, Megan Schnur, a veterinarian in Illinois presented to the Society of Advanced Practice Nursing in Springfield Illinois and there was about 35 nurses there. And we’re finding out that as you well know that a lot of nurses and doctors help people nutritionally. So in addition to the dietitians and the vet schools that we’ve reached out to in previous years we’re finding that nurse practitioners want to hear about the Operation Main Street what the pork industry is doing. So it’s been a good avenue for us and more and more of our speaker here enjoy speaking to them.
Don Wick: 01:15 Why are we making the outreach to that community?
Ernie Barns: 01:19 Well they seem to have some impact on what people eat. They’re encouraging folks to improve their diets. And it’s one more I guess that high level high end audience that does are thought leaders and they’re sharing with consumers on a daily basis what they should eat should take care of himself. And it’s just one more avenue for us to reach out and our speakers, our pork producers speakers that are part OMS are always telling us give us a tougher audience, give us some of more of those thought leaders that we can speak to. And so this is one more opportunity that we’ve found that we can reach into. One other one that we were finding that were fine and open doors to speak to as well is grocers associations. So we’re beginning to tap into that area as well.
Don Wick: 02:16 I know you’re always asking for feedback but what kind of response are you getting from some of these unique audiences.
Ernie Barns: 02:23 It’s been really good. It started back when we started with the dietitian’s and still 85 percent of them were responding and we require our speakers to pass out a survey that’s mailed directly back to us. And so our speakers don’t have any influence over that whatsoever. About 85 percent of the dietitians tell us how you told us something new, we didn’t realize that producers were doing what you’re saying. And so far the first nurses practitioners I mentioned 30 plus individuals there. And there again were right at that 86 87 percent said we didn’t know that information we’re proud of it. We feel more comfortable knowing that pork producers are doing what’s right and they understand that we care about what we’re doing.
Don Wick: 03:13 Great! Ernie, we are going to switch over to Pork Expo you’re going to have a number of different training courses going on during Expo in early June.
Ernie Barns: 03:21 We certainly are just like the last two or three years we’ve found out that we can train lots of different producers at Expo and so starting on Tuesday before Expo even opens, we start with an Operation Main Street class will go on. The first one to be on Tuesday and Wednesday and then we’ll go a second training class on Wednesday and Thursday and then scattered in between and around those we have what we call update stations, like if you want to speak to dietitian’s associations or if you want to speak to these nurses or other channel partners we’ll have a little update stations scattered throughout the week of Expo to allow producers that want to come back in for some additional training. Or hear what our talking points might be for those various audiences. We’ll be working those in as well. So I anticipate close to 50 people being involved in Operation Main Street training during the week of World Pork Expo.
Don Wick: 04:20 Thank you for listening to this edition of Pork Pod for more information on this topic or the Pork Checkoff itself, visit pork.org.