National Pork Board to Meet at Pork Industry Forum

24 February 2012, at 8:19am

US - Now nearing the halfway point of a five-year strategic plan, the National Pork Board will meet in Denver, Colorado, with the chairs of its nine producer-led committees on February 29 and March 1 to assess progress in meeting the goals laid out in the plan.

The board is meeting prior to the start of National Pork Industry Forum, the annual meeting of the pork industry's two national organizations. Pork Forum begins the afternoon of March 1 and concludes March 3.

The National Pork Board relies on producer-led committees to advise board members on matters ranging from product marketing to animal well-being, food safety and environmental research. Each committee includes pork producers and industry experts and is chaired by a producer, who leads committee deliberations. As part of the board's budgeting process, the committees also propose tactics and budgets to address the priorities established by the board.

Since the implementation of the five-year plan in 2010, each committee has been asked to address the goals laid out in the plan as the committee goes about its work. The three goals in the plan are:

  • To protect the ability of US farmer to produce pork in a socially responsible and cost-competitive manner.
  • To refresh and reposition pork's image to increase domestic and international consumer demand.
  • To pursue strategies that enable US pork producers to remain highly competitive, long term, on a global basis.

"This will be the first time since we adopted the plan that we've been able to sit down with all nine committee chairs to get a sense of where we are in the implementation of the strategic plan," said Everett Forkner, National Pork Board president and a pork producer from Richards, Mo. "We'll give each chairman some time to talk about the work of their committee and then, together, we can examine what we need to do going forward."

The committee discussion will follow an overview of the plan's process, goals and objectives by Chris Novak, the board's chief executive officer. Steve Meyer, an economic consultant to the board, also will give an economic update on the plan. Novak also will outline the process for the 2014 plan, the next step in the board's long-range planning process. The strategic-plan discussion is expected to take most of the day on Wednesday.

The board will recess at 4 p.m. so it can meet with members of the National Pork Producers Council.

When the board reconvenes on Thursday morning, members will discuss a request by the Fair Oaks Adventure Center for financial support of a swine education facility to be built adjacent to an existing dairy education center in Fair Oaks, Ind., about an hour from Chicago. Board members toured the dairy facility in January and heard from supporters of the swine project. Board members also received a business analysis of the project they had commissioned earlier.

Also on Thursday, the board will review final plans for Pork Forum, which begins at 3:30 p.m. March 1 with a presentation by the US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, a group of 70 agricultural organizations and businesses - including both the National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) - dedicated to giving voice to farmers and ranchers in the national dialogue about food.

With the exception of the joint meeting with the NPPC board of directors, the National Pork Board's meeting is open to the public. Those wishing to attend are asked to contact Lorraine Garner, [email protected], (515) 223-2600.