Latest survey shows 91 percent of producers support the Pork Checkoff

In the latest producer survey to gauge producer support of the Pork Checkoff, 91 percent of pig farmers voiced their support. Opposition dipped to a new record low of 3 percent, down from 4 percent in 2016.

Since 2002, the National Pork Board has surveyed producers annually to gain insight about the condition of the industry, general attitudes on pig farming and their support of the Checkoff.

The most recent survey of 551 pork producers, conducted Nov. 6-15, 2017, showed that for the eighth consecutive year, support for the Checkoff improved.

The survey also showed:

  • Right direction/wrong track – Producers grew in their industry optimism despite market supply pressure and other issues they face. In 2017, 78 percent of producers said the industry was heading “in the right direction,” up from 76 percent in 2016. Only 12 percent said that the industry was “on the wrong track,” an improvement from a score of 19 percent in 2016.Support for the Checkoff and general optimism of the industry was strongest among larger producers, or those that marketed more than 80,000 pigs in 2017. Support from this group was 95 percent.
  • Biggest challenge facing producers – The No. 1 challenge facing producers was “managing hog health and disease,” which was a change from 2016’s top concern of “too many rules and regulations.”

Regarding awareness and support of the National Pork Board’s strategic plan, the primary Pork Checkoff goals resonated with the random sample of producers surveyed. Based on a 10-point scale with 10 as the high, this year’s survey showed:

  • Build consumer trust rated a mean score of 8.95, up from 8.91 in 2016.
  • Grow export demand rated a mean score of 8.69. This was a new category, with “grow consumer demand” broken into two elements – export and domestic demand.
  • Grow consumer demand rated a mean score of 8.64, down from 8.70 in 2016.
  • Drive sustainable production rated a mean score of 8.28, up from 8.18 in 2016.

“These are the most positive results since we began surveying producers 15 years ago,” said National Pork Board President Terry O’Neel, Friend, Nebraska. “The findings underscore the value that the Pork Checkoff team delivers day-in, day-out to the pig farmers who fund the Checkoff. The results demonstrate that the board’s strategic goals are aligned with producers’ interest.”