The National Pork Board (NPB) joined the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) in hosting a wide-ranging environmental update and question-and-answer session before the opening of the National Pork Industry Forum. Titled “Environmental Sustainability Issues and Pork Producers,” the session focused on the need for producers to be prepared to address environmental sustainability issues in response to economic, market place and regulatory expectations and pressures.

The need for a comprehensive approach was emphasized, which includes air, water and land.

Randy Spronk, a pork producer from Edgerton, Minn., serves on environmental committees of both national pork organizations. His presentation explained why focusing on environmental sustainability is a net win for producers.

"As producers, we can retain our focus on economic survivability through enhanced efficiencies identified through sustainability efforts,” Spronk said. “The [Pork] Checkoff's work on the carbon footprint is one example of this, which producers will soon see firsthand."

Spronk also addressed marketplace expectations and demands for sustainable foods and discussed the Checkoff's efforts to build tools covering four pillars of environmental sustainability in swine production: carbon, air, water and land.

Jamie Burr, from Springdale, Ark., also serves on environmental committees of each pork group. He discussed the regulatory pressures affecting sustainability efforts and the implications for pork producers.

Lynn Harrison, a producer from Elk Mound, Wisc., chairs the Checkoff environmental committee. He said, "Today's pork producers continue to address environmental sustainability issues in their everyday production practices on the farm. This update simply reiterated the critical need to continue to do so."