JoAnn Alumbaugh
JoAnn Alumbaugh

We hope you’ve noticed a few changes in PorkNetwork over the last several months, and we welcome your comments. When I became editor in mid-January, it was gratifying to know my predecessors were as dedicated to this industry as I am. However, through research conducted last fall, we discovered you want to receive more information electronically, to supplement and reinforce what you find in the magazine.

You also told us more specifically the kind of information you want. As a result, we’ve been featuring regular departments for operations management, animal production, issues, markets, nutrition, research and consumer messages. Our “Best of the Blogs” highlights new contributors to PorkNetwork, who provide insights and opinions to help you formulate your own.

Human resource management is an important facet of your business, and can determine the difference between profit and loss. See our cover story on page 8 for ideas on developing processes to help your employees follow the right protocols every time.

On everyone’s mind is Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV). Government health officials, diagnosticians and veterinarians provided a thorough overview at World Pork Expo, and have since reported updates. See our article beginning on page 14.

Another hot topic is legislation to protect farmers from animal rights activists. Some of these individuals apply for employment under false pretenses, and after getting the job, videotape management practices. Videos are then selectively edited and released when activist organizations feel the timing is advantageous. Commonly known as “ag-gag” bills, they’re meant to protect farmers’ property rights and livelihoods, but opponents have another point of view. Read the article beginning on page 18 by our assistant editor, Wyatt Bechtel.

Read this issue, then let us know if we’re “on point.” In our effort to offer relevant content and continually improve, we need your input. Send me an email with your comments: I’ll look forward to hearing from you.