The National Pork Board will focus on recovery and reinvigoration at this week's meeting in Kansas City, Mo.  The board is seeking to improve the effectiveness of the National Pork Checkoff's marketing and research programs in an effort to sustain the pork industry's resurgence.  The board meeting will be held in conjunction with the pork industry's annual meeting, the National Pork Industry Forum, on March 5-6. 

"Pork producers have struggled the past two years with high feed prices and low market prices," says Tim Bierman, a Larrabee, Iowa., pork producer and NPB president. "As the industry works toward recovery, the board needs to take a hard look at what else we can do to help producers by taking a fresh look at how we improve the return on investment for our checkoff dollars.  That's why we'll be considering several new efforts in Kansas City that will keep us moving in the right direction."

The delegates attending Pork Forum will get the opportunity to preview new efforts aimed at repositioning pork with today's consumers.  Additionally, the delegates will get a glimpse of the pork industry's new Strategic Plan, which  the board approved in January.  These two elements are the foundation for the board's efforts to reinvigorate existing pork checkoff programs.

During its discussion of the Strategic Plan, the board will consider three specific plan recommendations, including:

  • Developing a long-term research strategy that can direct future checkoff-funded research investment toward higher priority targets;
  • Explore a new way for state and national organizations to work together more effectively;
  • Enhance the structure and efficiency of the board's systems for ensuring grassroots input into the development of the board's programs and budgets.

Additionally the board is expected to:

  • Discuss how USDA's announcement regarding the national animal identification program will affect ongoing pork industry disease surveillance and producer certification programs;
  • Receive an update on trade issues from pork representatives on the U.S. Meat Export Federation board;
  • Meet with members of the National Pork Producers Council Board of Directors to discuss common issues.