The National Pork Board is moving closer to taking over responsibility for checkoff-funded programs after their meeting last week. The board approved:

  • An additional $2.715 million to fund checkoff projects during the last half of 2001.
  • The current framework for the transition and separation process required by the settlement between USDA and pork producers.
  • The actions and plans of the CEO Search Committee to fill the chief executive officer position.

"Pork producers who are members of the National Pork Board met to determine direction of the organization and how to responsibly and effectively spend producers' checkoff revenues," explains John Kellogg, National Pork Boardresident and a pork producer from Yorkville, Ill.

During the Board meeting last week, the Board selected and approved nine additional projects to add to 2001 programs by using $2.715 million in checkoff reserve funds. Here is a budget breakdown:

Demand Enhancement
Fall/Winter 2001 Demand Enhancement Initiative: $1,000,000
U.S. Hispanic Marketing: $400,000
Consumer Awareness of Quality, Safety and Value
of U.S. Pork and Pork Production: $200,000
Japan Autumn Retail/Consumer Promotion: $265,000
Category Management Technology System: $150,000
Subtotal Demand Enhancement: $2,015,000

Science & Technology
Consumer Swine Welfare Interest Study: $150,000
Implications of a U.S. Foreign Animal Disease Outbreak: $150,000
Meat Identification Standards: $100,000
Subtotal Science & Technology: $400,000

Environment, Education and Production Research
Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planning: $300,000
Subtotal Environment, Education and Production Research: $300,000
Total: $2,715,000

2002 Planning & Budgeting

In a checkoff-funded economic analysis, Glenn Grimes, an agricultural economist with the University of Missouri, estimated that in 2002, about 100 million hogs will be marketed and generate about $43.7 million in checkoff revenues. The estimated checkoff revenue for 2002 is down about 15 percent from the current estimate for the 2001 Pork Checkoff Budget of $51.4 million. The Board decided to meet part of that shortfall with $7 million from reserves of the National Pork Board.

Additionally, the board selected an advisory committee to help plan and develop the budget for 2002. The committee includes seven members of the National Pork Board and seven other producers who are diversified by size and type of pork production operation, location and expertise with program areas.

Transition Team

The Transition Team reported to the National Pork Board that the timeframe for a transition and separation to occur on July 1, 2001, is on track. Several events that are scheduled to occur on July 1 include:

  • The official separation of national communications between the National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council. Most of the separation in this area can already be seen in publications such as Pork Report and Pork Leader. The separation of the Web site has started and may continue beyond July 1 due to the complex technical nature of the task.
  • The transfer of staff members from the National Pork Producers Council to the National Pork Board. This pertains only to staff members who work primarily with checkoff-funded programs.
  • The National Pork Board will change from granting contracts to managing budgets for checkoff programs directly.

Consultants from RSM McGladrey continue to provide independent oversight for the transition and separation.

In other decisions related to the transition and separation, the National Pork Board agreed to a tentative arrangement to lease office space from the National Pork Producers Council, based on a third-party appraisal of the property and comparison of competitive lease agreements.

CEO Search Committee

The National Pork Board approved the plans of the CEO Search Committee, including spending June searching for candidates, July focusing on narrowing the list of candidates to about 10 people for the search firm to interview. EFL Associates of Kansas City, the contracted search firm, will interview and report to the committee in early August. The committee will select a limited number of candidates that they will personally interview and then recommend a candidate to the Board in September.

For those of you interested in the transition and separation of the pork industry organizations can follow that progress on pork's Web site at

Source: National Pork Board