Head down any gravel road in hog country, and you’ll find producers that put words into actions when it comes to the pork industry’s We Care initiative.
As we prepare to enter the third decade of the 21st Century, it might be good to stop to reflect on how much agriculture has changed in our lifetime. I think back to the 1970s growing up on our family’s farm at Humboldt, South Dakota, where my father Neal and my uncle Loren raised corn, soybeans, cattle, pigs, hay and oats.
Doing what’s best for people, pigs and the planet has been second nature for pig farmers for decades. To demonstrate their commitment to ethical pork production, 10 years ago producers debuted the We Care initiative and pledged support to its six principles.
The Pork Checkoff recently awarded 21 scholarships to college students (right) for the 2018-2019 school year.
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.
It doesn’t take long after meeting Erin Brenneman for two things to become obvious: She wears her heart on her sleeve when it comes to caring for newborn pigs at Brenneman Pork Inc., and she’s not afraid to show it.
When it comes to establishing and maintaining strong employee relationships, producer Joe Dykhuis says that respecting employee differences while working toward common goals is what keeps their pig barns running smoothly.
Charlotte Rommereim, a registered dietitian and wife of National Pork Board vice president Steve Rommereim, Alcester, South Dakota, attended FoodFluence 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal, earlier this year. Sponsored in part by the Pork Checkoff, FoodFluence is an invitation-only food and nutrition thought-leadership conference for registered dietitians. Rommereim spoke on behalf of the board and America’s pig farmers about the animal agriculture story to address dietitians’ concerns regarding sustainability, animal welfare and responsible antibiotic use.
Raising high-quality pigs by following the six We CareSM ethical principles is the ultimate goal for producers Danny Kluthe, Dodge, Nebraska and Wayne Dahl, Dawson, Minnesota. But while working toward that goal, both men make being mindful of their neighbors and stewarding the environment a top priority with every management decision they make.
Veterinarians work with pig farmers every day to keep pigs healthy. But your customers may not know that they also help keep people healthy. Just ask Michelle Sprague, DVM, with AMVC Management Services in Audubon, Iowa.