At this year’s World Pork Expo, held June 3-5 in Des Moines, Iowa, Pork Checkoff events highlighted the innovation and creativity that pork producers have long demonstrated. From enhancing the daily care of animals in their barns to finding new ways to connect with customers, the focus remains on doing a better job.

Chris Soules, TV’s most recent Bachelor, and National Pork Board CEO Chris Hodges help out at the Big Grill at this year’s World Pork Expo.

At Expo, the Pork Checkoff debuted its new antibiotic stewardship plan to help build consumer trust in U.S. pork. For example, the Pork Quality Assurance®Plus program will be updated to include new on-farm antibiotic use guidance. Also, the Pork Checkoff will invest up to $1.4 million in antibiotic research and education in 2016 alone. The goal? Promoting responsible antibiotic use to protect the health and well-being of people, pigs and the planet.

In another nod to ingenuity, Chris Soules is helping the Checkoff reach consumers, including his participation in a producer panel at Expo. The Iowa farmer, who is TV’s most recent Bachelor, will be a judge for this year’s new Pig Farmer of the Year® award. He will help increase the media spotlight on the producer winner so he or she can connect with more consumers.

New initiatives such as these, coupled with the industry’s continuous improvement efforts, will help us connect with consumers in a relevant and meaningful way.

— Jan Jorgensen, editor