Anyone involved in the pork-value chain can benefit from attending one of the five Pork 101 classes being offered in 2002. The intensive hands-on program gets participants involved in every process of producing pork from the live hog to the consumer's plate.
The National Pork Board and American Meat Science Association organize the three-day course. Participants start by evaluating live hogs. They learn how to grade and apply value to the animal. The animals are slaughtered and each carcass is assigned to a team of participants who is responsible for further processing into primal and retail cuts. This also involves an evaluation of meat quality and value. The class samples and evaluates the resulting pork products.
According to David Meisinger, NPB's assistant vice president of pork quality, Pork 101 helps participants realize the importance of cooperation throughout the pork chain. "Pork quality begins on the farm. But if a commitment to quality isn't followed through the processing and marketing phases, producers' efforts will be wasted," Meisinger says. "Pork 101 brings together all segments of the chain and helps them understand the important role they play in ensuring a high-quality pork product."
This marks Pork 101's fifth year, and Meisinger points out that anyone involved in the industry is encouraged to participate, including producers, researchers, educators, allied industry representatives, geneticists, veterinarians, packers, processors, merchandisers, retailers and foodservice workers.
During 2002, the three-day course will take place in five locations.
- Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo., March 20-22
- Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, April 29-May 1
- Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, May 20-22
- Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pa., Sept. 16-18
- Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan., Oct. 17-19