The National Pork Board's Operation Main Street program has achieved the program's 3,000th speech. The program encourages and trains pork producers to address groups in their home communities demonstrating to consumers they share the same values concerning the well-being of their animals, the environment and the importance of contributing to the local community.

Thanks to the commitment and passion of these OMS pork producer volunteers, the 3,000th speech milestone means that:

  • Some 86,831community opinion leaders have heard firsthand about the pork industry's innovation, stewardship and economic impact from actual pork producers.
  • More than 4.5 million people have seen positive pork industry news coverage based on an OMS media outreach program.

Carrie Pollard, the technical services manager for Bethany Animal Hospital in DeKalb, Ill. gave the 3,000th speech to the Kiwanis Club in Rochelle, Ill.  Pollard has been an OMS speaker since Sept. 2006 and has already scheduled 57 OMS speeches.

"We feel the training and experience our OMS speakers receive make them a key resource to educate the public about important industry issues," said Chris Novak, chief executive officer of the National Pork Board. "Consumers also want to hear from people with firsthand knowledge about how their food is produced. When our producers show and tell how they run their operations, they are working to earn the trust of consumers and the community." 

Launched in November of 2004, OMS has grown from just 15 volunteer pork producers reaching out to local civic organizations to 677 trained speakers. These speakers are now taking the industry's story to regional and county planning commissions, government-related associations, governor's conferences and civic groups in 26 states.

Through the OMS program, producers and other industry leaders receive intensive speaker training and updates on emerging issues so that they can speak out on behalf of the pork industry. Topics covered by the speakers include environmental issues, changes in the pork industry, new technologies pork producers use and the positive impact pork production has on local and state economies.

"We want to do all we can to provide our speakers with the support they need to be successful," said Ernie Barnes, director of industry services for the Pork Checkoff. "And we continue to evolve the program to keep pace with new forms of communication such as social media." 

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Source: NPB