The National Pork Board reported on its newly approved $38.9-million budget for 2006, which includes $7 million from its reserves, at last week's National Pork Industry Forum. Reserves at the end of 2005 were expected to be $13.2 million.

All funds allocated in NPB's budget originate from the mandatory pork checkoff.

The 2006 industry forecast suggests that 104.2 million hogs will be marketed at a liveweight average of 271 pounds, notes Danita Rodibaugh, NPB president. With market prices expected to average between $42.50 and $45.80 per hundredweight, it could generate checkoff collections ranging from $55.3 million to $58.2 million. On average, 20 percent of the national collections are returned to state pork associations.

"The 2006 budget is built on the assumption that NPB will collect $52 million," says Rodibaugh.

NPB's nine critical issues in priority order and the budgeted allotments are as follows:

  • Move the needle on domestic demand - $20.66 million
  • Early identification and management of issues - $911,000
  • The transfer and deployment of knowledge and technology - $5.7 million
  • Build partnerships and alliances, inside and outside of the (food and agriculture) chain - $3.5 million
  • Industry image efforts - $1.22 million
  • Resolve swine welfare issues with customers - $1.14 million
  • Long-range strategy for pork exports - $4.37 million
  • Develop future industry leadership - $530,000
  • Find answers to odor issues - $810,000

NPB is charged with addressing all issues related to the mandatory checkoff, such as collection and distribution of the checkoff. Consequently, NPB's producer delegates -- Pork Act Delegates-- are charged with addressing checkoff directed topics at NPB's annual meeting during Pork Forum. This year, the delegates passes a resolution supporting premises registration necessary for the National Animal Identification System. This includes developing educational materials, research and other efforts to encourage pork producer participation. Another resolution addressed programs and efforts geared toward improving the image of pork producers by educating the public about modern pork production.

The delegates also sent a recommendation to the board of directors to evaluate the prospect of helping develop and contributing to an endowed chair at the University of Missouri in honor of Agricultural Economist Glenn Grimes.