The National Pork Board will complete its 2009 Strategic Plan and Budget in Des Moines, Iowa, Nov. 11-12.

The board has identified five critical issues that it will address during 2009.Those five issues are: safeguarding and expanding international markets; the trust and image of the industry and its products; the development of human capital; the competitive advantage for U.S. Pork; domestic pork expenditures.

During the summer, producer-led committees and staff developed specific tactics to address those critical issues. In September, a group of about 60 producers selected to represent the diversity within the pork industry reviewed those tactics and budget requests and sent a proposed $55 million budget to the board. That is the budget the board will consider next week. Once the board approves its 2009 Strategic Plan and Budget, the document requires approval by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

The remainder of the board's meeting will be devoted to program committee reports and to discussion of a number of current issues and topics. Those include planning for the 2009 Pork Industry Forum in Dallas in March; a report on the summer-long The Other White Meat tour; an update on the board's carbon footprint work; plus reports on the "We Care" responsible pork initiative and on recent animal care issues.

National Pork Board meetings are open to the public. Those wishing to attend are asked to contact Lorraine Garner, lgarner@pork.org, (515) 223-2600.

Source: NPB