Today 92% of all U.S. swine premises have a nationally standardized premises identification number (PIN), as calculated by the Pork Checkoff using U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data representing 65,907 premises.

Nearly half of these farms were registered over the last three years in conjunction with a cooperative agreement between the pork industry and USDA.

“This achievement means that pork producers and the pork industry realize that premises identification is instrumental in helping to take the health of our herds into the 21st century and to protect our industry from long-term negative consequences of a foreign animal disease,” says Gene Nemechek, a swine veterinarian from Springdale, AR, and president of the National Pork Board.

“The nationally standardized PIN is the cornerstone for more rapid and accurate traceability, which supports a faster response to animal-health events from the farm level on up. It has already proven to be useful in states assisting pork producers in a weather disaster. That’s why we urge all producers to make this a priority and participate in premises identification,” he says.

“While this is an important milestone, and one we should be proud of, the job is not finished until we have 100% participation,” says Jim Niewold, an Loda, IL, pork producers and chair of the checkoff’s Swine ID Implementation Task Force and chair of the checkoff’s Swine Health Committee.

The pork industry leveraged USDA funding to augment its own investment to help achieve this industry objective, according to Patrick Webb, DVM, pork checkoff director of swine health. “We developed and delivered education and outreach under the guidance of the industry’s Swine ID Implementation Task Force, which consists of producers from all sizes of farms and representatives of packers, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, the National Swine Registry and state premises ID coordinators.”

The next step in the program is to achieve even more adoption of the individual and group identification practices under the plan.

“This has been a collaborative effort of pork producers, industry stakeholders and state and federal animal health officials,” Nemechek says. “Without the support of our partners, the pork industry would not have accomplished this level of participation. The work is not completed, however. The pork industry must continue to support premises ID and implementation of the swine ID plan to protect the health of our herds and to meet other current and future needs for our industry and customers.”

Learn more about pork checkoff-funded programs by calling the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or go to www.pork.org.