The National Pork Checkoff Board is accepting nominations to fill five, three-year terms as directors of the board. In addition, candidates are being sought for two open seats on the Board's Nominating Committee to serve two-year terms starting in 2012. Nominees may be submitted by state pork producer associations, farm organizations and anyone who pays the Pork Checkoff.

Any person who is a pork producer or importer and has paid all Checkoff assessments due, or is a representative of a producer/company that produces hogs/pigs, is eligible to serve on the National Pork Checkoff Board. The 15 positions on the Checkoff board are held by pork producers or importers who volunteer their time.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture sees the pursuit of diversity in board membership as an opportunity for embracing new ideas that will enable the board to better serve its customers. The goal is to increase diversity through greater participation of persons with a variety of knowledge, skills, and abilities; diverse size and type of operation, diversity of perspectives and opinions, diversity of marketing strategies, diversity of methods of production and distribution, and diversity of gender, ethnicity and other distinguishing factors.

The Pork Checkoff Nominating Committee will solicit, interview, evaluate and recommend candidates to the Pork Act Delegate Body at the annual meeting March 1-3, 2012, in Denver, CO. A slate of eight producers will be elected and submitted to the secretary of agriculture, who will appoint five producers to serve three-year terms on the National Pork Checkoff Board.

The application deadline is Dec. 1. Please direct application requests and questions to the National Pork Checkoff Board either by mail to 1776 NW 114th St., Clive, IA 50325, by telephone to Teresa Wadsworth at (515) 223-2612, or e-mail TWadsworth@pork.org.

The National Pork Checkoff Board consists of 15 members, each serving a maximum of two, three-year terms. The Pork Act requires that no fewer than 12 states be represented by the 15 Pork Board members. At the time of election, these states will be represented by the board members whose positions on the board are not due for election: Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma, Missouri, Minnesota, Kansas, Oregon, North Carolina and Georgia.

The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health, pork safety and environmental management.

For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at www.pork.org.