Penning Pigs: Dear Matt with HSUS

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Last week, I wrote about a conversation I'd had with an individual who worked for one of the animal rights groups. The original conversation took place a few months ago, when producers were frantically dealing with Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) had just sent out a news release, the purpose of which was to alarm consumers about feedback - the only method available to producers to protect their herds agains PEDv. The person at HSUS with whom I talked was Matt Prescott. Matt spends a lot of time being "friendly" with people like... View Blog Post »

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Pork industry policy update

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Every morning I sit down at my desk, turn on my computer and wait to see what catastrophe has struck the world. One never knows what it will be but there is almost always something, which makes an editor’s job eternally interesting. On the other hand, personnel at the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the National Pork Board (NPB), likely wait with apprehension and consternation, hoping the latest sensationalistic news to hit the web has nothing to do with the pork industry. Rest assured they will spring into action if it does, and are prepared well in advance to meet news-cycle... View Blog Post »

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The human cost of PEDv

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Erin Brenneman sent me a note last night. She had written an article about Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) breaking on two of their sow farms, and what it was like to go through that experience. Her article is honest, forthright and heartfelt, and I encourage you to read it here. Without being maudlin, Erin shares the day-by-day progression as the disease worked its way through the barn – from the very first sick pigs, to the loss of nearly all the baby pigs for a period of time, to the hopeful light at the end of the tunnel when pigs... View Blog Post »

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Alumbaugh: Join the “zero waste” movement

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A number of people commented on my recent editorial, Everyone is responsible. Thank you for recognizing the importance of this issue and providing links to other organizations that are interested in this cause. One such group is CropMobster, a community exchange initiative that connects those who have food with those who don’t. Its website states, “The main principle is creating daily “Win-Win” solutions in the spirit of sharing. If everyone sticks to that we’ll be good to go!” Another non-profit group is Ample Harvest, which encourages home and community gardeners to donate their surplus fruits and vegetables to food pantries. Even... View Blog Post »

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Alumbaugh: Everyone is responsible

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Editor's note: The following editorial was featured in the July/August issue of PorkNetwork magazine. It’s a tragedy, really. We produce the safest, most abundant food supply in the world, but the Economic Research Service (ERS) estimates that in 2010, 31 percent of food available for consumption at the retail and consumer levels in the United States went uneaten. That percentage represents about 133 billion pounds of food. There are a variety of reasons this unacceptable number exists. It includes food that is not consumed due to moisture loss or cooking shrinkage as well as food loss from mold, pests or inadequate... View Blog Post »

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Alumbaugh: Bacon: The fad that never ends

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The bacon craze is still alive and well. “Who would have predicted this craziness?” jokes Ceci Snyder, vice president of domestic marketing for the National Pork Board. “In quarter one, we had some fun with bacon – we don’t really promote it because it doesn’t need our help, but we tied the crazy love of bacon to consumers’ love of pork overall. Our integrated theme for quarter one was, ‘for the love of pork.’ We had national online ads, a PR program and a Twitter handle (#PorkLUV). We delivered bacon roses to media around the country,” says Snyder. (The dog – or... View Blog Post »

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Alumbaugh: We’re being talked about

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Editor's Note: Click here for more articles from the June issue of PorkNetwork. The industry, that is. It’s happening all the time, in both positive and negative connotations. Social media has become an important source of news, writes Hubpages.com. While the objectivity and credibility of sources can clearly be contested, news channels tweet or give updates on significant happenings all over the world. Their availability on social networks makes news more accessible. Additionally, news quickly gets passed around the networks in ways never experienced before. Social media has furthered interaction by such a massive scale that it is impossible to ignore,... View Blog Post »

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Alumbaugh: Panera gets fired

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It doesn’t happen often, but when it does – especially with a recognized name like Panera – it’s newsworthy. The Chicago Tribune reported this week that Panera’s ad agency, Cramer-Krasselt, was firing its client, calling the company "difficult." It would be interesting to know whether the brainchild for Panera’s misleading advertising campaign came from the company or from the agency. However, based on conversations others in the ag media tried to have with the marketing folks at Panera, my tendency is to think it resided with the company. Its “antibiotic-free” campaign made news, but it was on the backs of producers. All... View Blog Post »

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Alumbaugh: Be the driver, not the victim

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Editor's Note: Click here for more articles from the June issue of PorkNetwork. It’s relatively easy to find examples of crises and the subsequent media disasters that follow, especially when it comes to agriculture. An obvious case-in-point is the “pink slime” debacle. Read these quotes on the issue from an article in The Holmes Report called, “The Top 12 Crises of 2012,” by Arun Sudhaman and Paul Holmes. "BPI hit the crisis trifecta: an unappetizing practice we didn't know about, safety questions, and "pink slime," a negative phrase far more catchy than the product name. Pink slime gave a... View Blog Post »

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Penning Pigs: World Pork Impressions

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The 2014 World Pork Expo took place in Des Moines last week, and it was, by all measures, a very successful event. Although Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus has taken its toll on the industry, strong prices are helping make up the difference. In addition, exports remain strong and domestic demand is on an upward trend. Crops in the Midwest are off to a great start, too, so there is little to dampen the positive mood in the U.S. pork industry. Producers came out in force and the trade-show floor was busier on Wednesday than I’ve seen it for several years. Although... View Blog Post »

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JoAnn Alumbaugh
JoAnn Alumbaugh | JoAnn Alumbaugh grew up on a diversified farm in Michigan, and has been involved in many different facets of the industry. She joined PorkNetwork as Editor and Brand Champion on January 2013 and is anxious to engage in conversation with producers, educators, consultants and agri-business personnel.


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