The director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State University said IPIC supports the recent settlement between the National Pork Producers Council, Michigan Pork Producers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. John Mabry said the decision has important consequences to all facets of the pork industry.

"The settlement will maintain stability in the current checkoff-funded programs that have demonstrated benefits to the pork industry as a whole," Mabry says. "In the long term, it's essential to have a consensus of support from the pork industry for a legislated checkoff, and the settlement provides for an assessment of this critical aspect."

Mabry doesn't anticipate additional difficulties in continuing or obtaining cooperative funding from checkoff dollars for IPIC educational programming and other projects, but said implementation of the settlement terms almost certainly will lead to some changes.

"It would appear that the majority of future programming will originate with the National Pork Board rather than NPPC," Mabry notes. "We look forward to working with NPPC and the National Pork Board to help provide research and educational programming to pork producers."

According to the terms of the Feb. 28 agreement, the National Pork Board will be required to hire its own chief financial officer, chief executive officer and other staff sufficient to provide necessary control and oversight of the program. It will manage its own contracts for promotion, research, and consumer information projects. It also will issue its own communications and be housed separately from NPPC.

Iowa Pork Industry Center, Iowa State University