The early success of the Pork Checkoff’s Pork. Be Inspired promotional campaign has led to additional funding allocations for the program.

“During our board meeting recently, we decided to extend the reach of the Pork. Be Inspired campaign by implementing an additional $5 million for advertising this year,” says Everett Forkner, National Pork Board president, at World Pork Expo in Des Moines.

“The rollout of the Checkoff’s Pork. Be Inspired began with a challenge set forth in the National Pork Board’s five-year strategic plan,” says the pork producer from Richards, MO. “Preliminary national consumer information on how well the campaign is changing behaviors won’t be available until later this summer, but the early results are encouraging.”

Progress is also apparent in the Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus program. As of June 1, more than 14,590 sites representing 67.5% of the U.S. pig inventory were independently assessed; 52,578 producers are participating in PQA Plus.

“With more producers than ever participating in the program, the industry has made great strides, but more needs to be done,” Forkner explains. “The PQA Plus certification program is an important step, but demonstrating and documenting our commitment to the PQA Plus good production practices through the site assessment process are vital to the success of the program.”

Pork Checkoff-funded research also contributed to the recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service that pork can be safely consumed when cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by a three-minute rest time.

“The new recommendation evolved through a series of Checkoff-funded research projects that looked at consumer eating preferences and safety of pork at various temperatures,” Forkner says. “Consumers can now enjoy pork at its most flavorful, juicy and safe temperature.”

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