On the eve of tremendous evolutionary industry changes, a new hog magazine came onto the scene. What was Pork Producers Reference in 1981, is now PORK ’98.

The pork industry didn’t appear to need another hog magazine at the time. Yet there seemed to be a need for something different. And at this magazine, we have always prided ourselves in looking at things differently.

Production, marketing and people were the focus of those early issues. We’ve changed the focus through the years as your needs have changed, but the magazine’s tag line “The Business Monthly For Pork Producers” remains the same. That’s because our commitment to you remains the same.

In the editorial offices of PORK’98, the reader is priority one. Our mission is to provide the information you need to run a more efficient, productive, profitable and these days, responsible pork operation.

Notice I said pork operation. A subtle eye also will notice that PORK’98 editors always address you as pork producers, not hog farmers. That’s because we focus, and want you to focus, on the end product – pork.

That’s also why we’ve embraced pork quality and efforts to make pork the meat of choice as part of our editorial mission. We know that if consumers, domestic and foreign, eat more pork, there is room for more U.S. pork producers.

At PORK’98, we have never believed that an operation’s size determined its competitiveness. It’s about attitude, innovation and desire. We want to help as many of you as possible succeed in this business .

The pork production business continues to change, and so must you. Which leads me to the changes you will find in PORK’98.

  • Environment Matters
    With environmental, manure management and odor issues dictating who, where and how pork operations are run, you need a steady diet of information and answers.

    In this new monthly column, industry experts will provide practical, on-farm solutions. Yet the column also will look to the future as it relates to technology and possible legislation. From public relations to manure storage, to possible regulations and any topic in between are up for discussion in this column.

    State Snapshot will be a regular segment of this column. It is designed to provide insight into environmental developments in a given state. This month’s snapshot looks at Nebraska. We’re providing this because what happens in one state has a way of cropping up in others.

  • Business Decisions

    Re-emphasizing our roots, this section will appear in four issues a year. It is designed to help you think through and make the big-picture decisions that will keep your business competing successfully long term.

    Business and industry experts will serve as authors, providing you with insight and guidance on such things as reorganizing your business structure, employee relations, diversifying your portfolio and estate planning.

    PORK’98 editors will continue to bring out the business dimension in every story we do. This section simply lets us provide more in-depth information on specific business principles that you can apply to make decisions for your operation’s future.

  • Pork Quality Link
    Looking to the future, yours lies in consumers’ hands. Product quality and consistency, along with food safety, are their priorities.

    More of you are embracing the idea that you produce a food product. You’ve seen how exports have expanded your market and increased your profit. New products are finding spots on previously untapped foodservice menus, and old products like bacon are setting usage records. U.S. consumers have developed a taste for fresh pork.

    But pork doesn’t magically appear in the meat case. It gets there through the efforts of meat scientists, packers, processors, chefs, retailers and others along the way.

    Four times a year, Pork Quality Link will connect you with other segments of the pork chain and ultimately to the consumer. You will learn what others are doing to market more of your product.

PORK’98 is committed to providing you with the information, knowledge and answers you need to make pork the meat of choice and your business a long-term success.

We encourage you to tell us what you want, what you like or dislike. Our mailbox is always open ù so are our fax  and e-mail lines.

Your pork operation will continue to change, as will PORK magazine. And while change can be difficult, in the end it’s usually positive. Together we can make it so.