Stephan Hesse, executive chef of The Oak Grill in Minneapolis, Minn., won top honors in the 20th annual national Taste of Elegance™ contest June 29 in Baltimore, Md. The competition, sponsored by the Pork Checkoff, featured 29 chefs, all winners of state and regional Taste of Elegance contests.
Ryan Newstrom of the Big T’z Q Cru from Ames, Iowa, earned Grand Champion honors June 6 in the Pork Checkoff’s 22nd annual Great Pork BarbeQlossal™ contest. Newstrom was awarded cash and prizes including the grand prize of $8,000.
The Pork Checkoff is helping U.S. pork producers as they work to earn the trust of their customers by demonstrating accountability and social responsibility in all they do.
The floods of 2008 are fresh in Iowa pork producers’ memories less than a year after rising waters from the Mississippi and its tributaries flooded thousands of acres of crops and dozens of pig barns following heavy spring rains. Helping pork producers prepare for this and many other types of emergencies is the goal of the Pork Checkoff’s new emergency action plan tool.
The National Pork Board has adopted a resolution urging all U.S. pork producers to become certified in the Pork Quality Assurance Plus® program by June 30, 2010, and to achieve PQA Plus® site status by Dec. 31, 2010. Additionally, the board is recommending that producers embrace the ethical principles the industry adopted in 2008.
Twenty U.S. pork producers were selected to participate in Pork Leadership Academy (PLA), a program sponsored by the Pork Checkoff, which is used to identify and train swine industry leaders.
The Pork Checkoff, National Hog Farmer magazine, the National Pork Producers Council, NutriDense, Newsham Choice Genetics, Pfizer Animal Health and Farm Credit Services of America have partnered to sponsor the Swine Handling and Transport Forum on the eve of the 2009 World Pork Expo, at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown in Des Moines, Iowa.
Planning for 2010 will continue when the National Pork Board meets Thursday morning during World Pork Expo in Des Moines.