When the National Pork Board meets on Thursday (Sept. 9), consumer perspectives of pork and pork production will be a central focus of their deliberations.

More than 50 pork producers will meet to help guide the investment of Pork Checkoff dollars into consumer information, research and producer education programs. The programs are crafted to help producers offer consumers safe, affordable, quality pork products.

Earlier this summer, the board’s producer-led committees identified the following three major goals to achieving the board’s new five-year strategic plan:

  • Refresh and reposition pork’s image to increase domestic and international consumer demand.
  • Protect the rights and ability of U.S. farmers to produce pork in a socially-responsible and cost-competitive manner.
  • Pursue strategies to enable U.S. pork producers to remain competitive, long-term, globally.
At the meeting, producers from 25 states will review more than $54 million in program requests to create a balanced fiscal year 2011 budget of about $46 million.

The budget requests include major proposals to create new excitement for pork amongst consumers and to help consumers understand and appreciate modern agriculture. Other proposals advance the work of the We Care initiative and fund research to address significant social, economic and production concerns facing the pork industry.

Two task forces will report on efforts to enhance producer input into board decisions and strengthen state pork producer organizations.
Also at the meeting, the board will:

  • Preview recommendations for a new policy handbook to strengthen the governance of the board;
  • Evaluate the need for a study tour examining how regulatory changes in the European Union might impact U.S. production;
  • Review progress on a National Swine Influenza Virus Surveillance program, new consumer market research, and a plan to create a model to assist producers with management of air emissions.

National Pork Board meetings are open to the public. To attend, contact Lorraine Garner, lgarner@pork.org, (515) 223-2600.

To learn more about the Pork Checkoff, log onto www.pork.org.