By Jason Menke

Milestone birthdays are often a time of reflection and introspection – a time to celebrate past success and take stock of opportunities and challenges ahead. That is exactly what the National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) are doing as the industry marks 10 years since the We CareSM initiative was launched.

“While celebrating what the groundbreaking initiative has accomplished in the last decade, there is a lot of work to be done to ensure pig farmers continue to set the bar when it comes to sustainability and animal welfare,” said Brett Kaysen, the Pork Checkoff’s assistant vice president of sustainability.

To that end, the Pork Board and NPPC have put together a task force to examine how to position We Care for the future.

“The task force is charged with advancing pork’s sustainability strategy and developing an action plan to outline the industry’s goals as we refresh We Care for the next 10 years,” Kaysen said.

“To continue to build consumer trust and confidence in U.S. pork, we need to ensure that producers’ core ethical principles remain at the forefront of everything they do,” Kaysen said. “We also need to communicate these values in a way that is clear and relevant to those outside of the pork industry.”

Task force members have critical knowledge of every aspect of the industry and want to help shape the pork industry’s sustainability journey, according to Kaysen. Over the next several months, the task force will outline how to advance sustainability while increasing consumer confidence and trust in pork. A draft plan will be presented to the Pork Board and NPPC’s boards of directors by Nov. 9.

2018-2019 We Care Task Force

  • Gene Noem, KD Feeders (co-chair)
  • Jen Sorenson, Iowa Select Farms (co-chair)
  • Phil Borgic, Borgic Farms
  • Jamie Burr, Tyson Foods
  • Andy Curliss, North Carolina Pork Council
  • Joe Dykhuis, Dykhuis Farms
  • Pat McGonegle, Iowa Pork Producers Association
  • Randy Spronk, Spronk Farms
  • Kay Stinson, Seaboard Foods
  • Kraig Westerbeek, Smithfield Foods
  • Bradley Wolter, The Maschhoffs