Delegates from across the United States will gather in Kansas City, Mo., March 6-8 for the annual National Pork Industry Forum.

The 15 producers who serve as members of the National Pork Board and Pork Checkoff staff leadership will hear directly from the 156 forum delegates appointed  by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Each year the Pork Act Delegates confer, vote on resolutions and advisements, and provide valuable direction on the important issues facing pork producers and the industry. This year the delegates include 152 pork producers and four pork importers.  

The theme for the annual pork forum - The Power of One: Many producers united in a common goal - was selected in reference to how the industry is taking proactive steps to join together in meeting the challenges facing the industry. From tackling concerns raised by the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus to responding to consumers seeking to learn how food is produced, thousands of individual farmers are doing their part to produce pork in a caring, responsible and professional manner.

"As an industry, we are stronger when we are united toward a greater common good," said Karen Richter, president of the National Pork Board and a producer from Montgomery, Minn. "Working together, we can make a collective difference in raising a single voice for all hog farmers. We'll demonstrate that clearly in Kansas City."

In advance of the annual meeting, members of the National Pork Board will also convene their March board meeting. The agenda for that meeting will include updates on 2014 plans to enhance pork demand, increase market opportunities, improve pork production practices and invest in research priorities.

Included on the 2014 Pork Forum agenda will be opportunities for pork producers to become trained in the pork industry's Pork Quality Assurance® Plus (PQA Plus®) certification process, as well as provide input into the Pork Checkoff's new strategic plan that is currently being developed.

The full agenda is available at www.pork.org. As the event draws near, the website will be updated with current information and links to the Pork Forum manual and videos of candidates nominated for industry positions.