Each day it seems there is a new assault on animal agriculture. To build, maintain and coordinate pork industry volunteers in defending against unfavorable public policy at both the state and national levels, the National Pork Producers Council sponsors the Legislative Education Action Development Resource, or LEADR program.

The LEADR program was featured at the National Pork Industry Forum held March 4-6 in Kansas City, Mo.. “I’m pleased to report that in 2009, we trained 149 people in the LEADR program,” says Larry Liepold, NPPC Pork PAC chair. “Since the beginning of the program, we have trained 842 individuals in the program. This is tremendous progress.”

In the first two months of 2010, 46 new LEADR participants have been added to the program. “We need to continue this momentum in the LEADR program and get the total number of trained individuals to 1,000 by this time next year,” adds Liepold. “If you haven’t enrolled in LEADR, the time has never been better.”

LEADR is a grassroots coalition of pork producers, growers, allied industry, veterinarians and nutritionists who have an active interest in defending their livelihood. With fewer people involved in agriculture, specifically modern pork production, involvement by pork industry participants in communicating with elected leaders is urgently needed.

“The LEADR program began in 2005 to get letters to Congress in an attempt to educate elected leaders on issues important to the pork industry,” says Neil Dierks, NPPC chief executive officer. “Since that time, the LEADR program has made great strides in achieving our objectives.  If you’re not a member of the LEADR program, now is an excellent time to join this very important effort.”

To learn or polish the skills needed to be a LEADR representative, NPPC customizes training programs for participants to become an integral part of an effective grassroots network. For more information on the LEADR program, contact Bryan Humphreys, LEADR director of grassroots operations for NPPC.