Unified Research

Posted on

The Unified Research Meetings are coming up. National Pork Board Vice President of Science and Technology Dr. Dave Pyburn is featured in this podcast with details about the Pork Checkoff research investment.


Don Wick


Dr. Dave Pyburn, SVP Science & Technology, National Pork Board




Don Wick:  00:01  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 John Wick speaking on behalf of the Pork Checkoff. And today our guest is Dr. Dave Pyburn the vice president of science and technology with the National Pork Board. And Dr. Pyburn the unified Research Committee is getting ready to meet on the 13th and 14th. Let’s talk about it. What is this meeting? What is the goal of the unified research group?

Dave Pyburn :  00:37  Yeah Don. Each year we have our committees have two meetings where actual face to face meetings and then they’ll have monthly conference calls or once every two months conference calls to stay in touch in between. But we have the unified meeting which happens in January February of each year and then we have our second committee meeting, that usually happens in July August time period where we concentrate more on budget and coming budget for the next year. But the January February unified meeting that’s for all six of our science technology committees come together in one spot.  So we’ve got animal science for the Animal Welfare, Sustainability, Pork Safety Quality Human Nutrition committee, producer public health and workplace safety committee, and then the Swan Health Committee all come together in one spot.  And the real emphasis of this meeting coming up for the committee is on research we have our general call for proposals that goes out with producer priorities for funding research that goes out and in that October time period. We get the proposals back in November and then have scientific research reviews done on those between November and the start of the unified committee meetings and then at unified our producers come together and they decide with the checkoff dollars how much they are what projects they want to fund.

Don Wick:  02:00  Dave when you say producers, who are involved at this level?

Dave Pyburn :  02:05  It’s all the committee members are involved. So it’s it’s all in the producer volunteers that we have on committees and then we’ll also have those committees some scientific expertise as well in either in the form of advisers if they don’t own pig,  if they happen to be veterinarians that do own pigs and they can be on there as actual committee members as well. So it’s its producers making the decisions but they’ve got some adviser input from scientific technical type people on the committees whether that be researchers or allied industry type folks.

Don Wick:  02:38  Could you give me an example of the type of research projects being discussed?

Dave Pyburn :  02:38  Yeah. So what happens is the committees themselves decide on the priorities and they determine where they want to put those Checkoff dollars in that next call proposal. So I do have do have proposals that was put out last fall in front of me and we’ll just we can run through quick some of the high level stuff that each committees want to look at the Animal Science Committee is looking at feed efficiency and also looking at sow and piglet mortality as we look at that as an issue within the industry. That’s really there are two primary areas they’re looking at right now. Animal welfare looking at management of compromise pigs and euthanasia practices. Also looking at painful procedures and management of pain in pigs. Looking at aggressive and damaging behaviors, how often they occur and why did they occur such as ear biting, flank biting, vulva biting, tail biting, those types of things. Farrowing housing is always a research topic for the animal welfare committee and they’re looking at proposals in that area again this year. Pork quality and safety looking at looking at E. coli as a pork safety bacteria also looking at salmonella in pork trim in the pork safety area. And then a new area for them that they want to take a little deeper dive into his hepatitis E and looking at the prevalence of hepatitis E and the risk associated with hepatitis E in the United States. The pork quality folks are looking at intra muscular fat variation throughout the line. Public health still looking at it still a top priority to look at antibiotic use and resistance. And then our antibiotic practices and mitigations that we have on farms. Also in public health looking at influenza as a public health virus. Also looking at mersa methicillin resistant staph aureus looking there at occupational exposure to potential for occupation exposure to mersa on our farms. Sustainability crew they’re looking at continue to look at their lifecycle assessments. Looking at research on our usage and our continuous movement in our usage of carbon, air, water, and land. The Swine Health Committee there they’ve got a couple of different main topics. One would be in the foreign animal disease area looking at vaccines and then differentiable vaccines on a diagnostic test. Looking at improvement of all the diagnostic tests that we currently use for the foreign animal diseases. Looking at inactivation and bio-security procedures for the foreign animal diseases and looking at risk analysis and modeling of the potential for us to get a foreign animal disease here and then the spread capabilities of a foreign animal disease and the swine health a general area looking at Enteric diseases of swine. Looking at mycoplasma looking at influenza A as a pathogen a swine rather than on the public health aspect they look at the pathogen swine area. And then also looking at Seneca A virus. One thing that the swine health committee has determined there, they want to do and they’ve done this for a number of years as they look at those general diseases at this first call this spring call and then when summer hits that’s when they put out their PERS priorities and that’s when they fund their PERS research. So they do a little different than some of the committees but that’s been that’s been how they put their priorities out.

Don Wick:  06:16  Quite the list. You step back the really all of the pocketbook issues that impact the producers bottom line.

Dave Pyburn :  06:23  That’s what we’re trying to do trying to do impactful research. You know the latest return on investment for Checkoff dollars that was done an independent study looking at for every one dollar of import what’s the return on investment for that Checkoff dollar and it came up at just over 83 dollars for every one dollar spent on research here through Checkout. So we’re pretty proud of that. We think that’s because our producers they know their priorities that they want to address they make sure that we address those and then they take a hard look at their proposals and to determine the best ones to reach those priority goals.

Don Wick:  06:57  David if producers have questions or want to provide input what’s the process?

Dave Pyburn:  07:05  You bet, you bet anybody that’s got questions can contact me directly here at the Pork Board either through email or with a phone call. we’re always looking for volunteers for our committees. So if they want to get even deeper involved they can become involved on our committees in whatever area they determine as is where their interest lies and if they if they just want to have a conversation on the priorities and what we do fund and find out a little bit about we have funded in the past we can do that as well.

Don Wick:  07:34  Dr. Dave Pyburn from the National Pork Board. Thanks to you for listening to this edition of Pork Pod. For more information on this topic or the Pork Checkoff itself visit Pork.org