National Pork Industry Forum, which serves as the annual meetings of the National Pork Board (Pork Checkoff) and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), met in St. Louis, MO on March 6-8.
The National Pork Board is responsible for pork checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information as prescribed under the Pork Act, while NPPC is the industry advocacy organization serving as the industry’s voice in fighting for reasonable legislation and regulation, developing revenue and market opportunities and protecting producers’ livelihoods.
Following is a report of some activities that took place during Pork Forum, as well as the actions taken by delegates to the two organizational annual meetings.
Industry Honors Former National Hog Farmer Editors
Former editors of National Hog Farmer magazine, Neal Black and the late C.R. “Mitch” Mitchell were inducted into the National Pork Producers Council Hall of Fame during special ceremonies at the Pork Industry Forum held in St. Louis on March 6-8.
Mitchell was the first and founding editor of National Hog Farmer, launched in 1956. Black succeeded him as editor of the magazine in 1973.
Black and Mitchell were instrumental in calling for, and organizing, the legendary Moline 90 meeting in 1996 where 90 producers from 11 states agreed to hire the first fulltime executive secretary and launch the first, voluntary pork checkoff program.
Black and Mitchell also wrote a series of articles in National Hog Farmer entitled “Blueprint for Decision,” which helped establish a national pork industry organization – later to become the National Pork Producers Council – and advance the voluntary pork checkoff program known in its early years as “nickels for profit.”
Black and Mitchell organized the Pork Industry Conference from 1958 through 1968, an event that merged with the NPPC’s annual meeting held during the American Pork Congress, and later evolved into the World Pork Expo.
Mitchell was a strong advocate of the modern, meat-type hog, creating a more acceptable retail product for American consumers. He was honored, posthumously, in 1985 with the NPPC’s Distinguished Service award for excellence and dedication to the pork industry.
Black dedicated much time and energy into the eradication of hog cholera in the United States and served as chairman of the Livestock Conservation Institute’s hog cholera eradication committee. He was also instrumental in challenging USDA Assistant Secretary Carol Foreman’s efforts to eliminate nitrates in pork curing. In 1980, Black resigned his position as editor of National Hog Farmer to be named president of the Livestock Conservation Institute, where he led the national pseudorabies eradication efforts.
“For their efforts and influences, which helped build the organizational structure of the U.S. pork industry, C.R. Mitchell and Neal Black have been inducted into the NPPC’s Hall of Fame. They were true leaders, who not only wrote about our industry, but helped shape it,” said Jill Appell, NPPC President and pork producer from Altona, IL.
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