The National Pork Board will begin the 2008 planning process at its summer meeting in St. Louis, Mo., July 17-20. NPB also will seat its newly appointed board members and elect new board officers.

Under NPB’s planning and budgeting process, the board each year begins the process by identifying the critical issues it believes it can address on behalf of the U.S. pork producers who invest in the national pork checkoff. In 2007, the board identified five critical issues: Positively impacting customer and consumer purchase of pork; the trust and image of the industry and its products; the development of human capital; the profitability and competitive advantage for U.S. Pork; the safeguard and expansion of international markets.

Before identifying those issues for 2008, board members will receive input from an outside panel of industry and non-industry experts that has been helping the board identify emerging issues in the pork industry. Board members also will hear from the chairmen of 11 producer-led committees.  Those committees advise the board on specific program initiatives ranging from pork-product marketing to food safety, the environment and animal well-being.

From that input, the board also will begin to identify the specific objectives it plans to achieve during 2008. Members of all 11 committees – more than 200 producers in total – will meet in Omaha in September to develop the tactics to achieve those objectives.

NPB will consider final approval for the 2008 plan and the accompanying budget in November. USDA Secretary has final approval.

Also during its meeting in St. Louis, the board will elect its president and vice president for the next year. Wayne Peugh, a producer from Edelstein, Ill., is the current president. Lynn Harrison, a producer from Elk Mound, Wis., is the current vice president. Board members Tim Bierman of Iowa, Steve Weaver of California and Bruce Samson of Montana will begin their second three-year terms after being appointed recently by USDA Secretary Mike Johanns. Henry Moore of North Carolina and Everett Forkner of Missouri will join the board as new members.

Also on the agenda are reports on:

  • A just-completed independent analysis of the return on investment to producers from the pork checkoff.
  •  The progress of a broad-based coalition headed by NPB that is addressing the nutritional feed efficiency issue.
  • The 2007 strategic plan, specifically on what is being done to address the critical issue related to the image of the industry.

The meeting is open to the public. Those planning to attend are asked to contact Lorraine Garner at lgarner@pork.org, or (515) 223-2600. Additional information about the 2007 strategic plan and about the 15 members who serve on the National Pork Board is available at www.pork.org.

Source: The National Pork Board