As of Sept. 30, the pork checkoff rate on domestic hogs and imported pork and pork products has been reduced a nickel – from 45 cents to 40 cents per $100 of value.

The change was approved earlier this year by pork producers and importers who pay the checkoff and by the Agriculture Department that oversees the checkoff program.

"An 11% reduction in the checkoff’s promotion, research and consumer information programs obviously is going to have some impact on those programs," says Dave Culbertson, Geneseo, IL, one of 15 producers serving on the National Pork Board and chair of the board’s budget committee.

"The impact of the reduction will result in reduced programming. However, we believe that prioritization of programs and use of reserves, together with good management, will help us minimize the impact of reduced revenues," he points out.

In 2002, $50 million in checkoff funds pays for programs to increase pork demand, improve exports, conduct research and inform consumers about pork as a menu choice.

Learn more about programs funded by the pork checkoff at www.porkboard.org or call (515) 223-2600.