Consumer perspectives of pork and pork production are the central focus of the National Pork Board's proposed 2011 budget that will be debated next week in Des Moines. More than 50 pork producers will gather from across the country to help guide the investment of NPB’s pork checkoff dollars into consumer information, research, and producer education programs. The programs are designed to help pork producers provide consumers with safe, affordable, quality pork products.

The board's planning and budgeting process began earlier this summer when producer-led committees identified action steps for achieving the board's new five-year strategic plan. These objectives fall under one of three major goals:

  • Refresh and reposition pork's image to increase domestic and international consumer demand.
  • Protect the rights and ability of U.S. farmers to produce pork in a socially-responsible and cost-competitive manner.
  • Pursue strategies to enable U.S. pork producers to remain highly competitive, long term, on a global basis.

Next week's plan of work budget meeting includes producers from 25 states who represent the diversity of today's pork industry. Producers attending the meeting will review $54 million in requests to create a balanced FY 2011 budget of approximately $46 million.

Among the requests are major proposals to create new excitement for pork in the consumer marketplace and to help consumers better understand and appreciate modern agriculture. Additional proposals advance the work of the pork industry's "We Care" initiative and fund research that can address significant social, economic and production concerns facing the pork industry.

Two task forces established under NPB's strategic plan will present recommendations to the Board on enhancing producer input into the board's programming decisions and strengthening state pork producer organizations.

The board will also:

  • Preview recommendations for a new policy handbook that will strengthen the governance of the board,
  • Evaluate the need for a study tour examining how regulatory changes in the European Union might impact future U.S. production.
  • Review progress on:
    • A national Swine Influenza Virus Surveillance program.
    • New consumer market research.
    • A plan to create a model to help producers manage air emissions.

Meetings of the National Pork Board are open to the public. Those wishing to attend are asked to contact Lorraine Garner,, (515) 223-2600.

Source: NPB