Pork producers are committed to demonstrating how much they care about producing safe and nutritious food, their animals’ well-being and protecting the environment. On Aug. 4, the National Pork Board's Operation Main Street program logged what will be its 4,000th speech.  

"Thanks to our volunteers, OMS has grown into a significant asset for the pork industry and an important voice for the pork industry's We Care initiative," says Perry Aasness, NPB’s vice president of industry relations. "OMS speakers are now showing key decision-makers and influencers such as county commissioners, dietitians and small-animal veterinarians, how pork producers are working hard every day to do the right thing."

We Care is a pork industry initiative designed to help producers demonstrate that they are committed to established ethical principals and animal well-being practices.

Mary Kelpinski, executive director of the Michigan Pork Producers Association in Holt, Mich., will present the 4,000th OMS speech to the Rotary Club in Warren, Mich., on Aug. 24. Kelpinski has been an OMS speaker since September 2008 and has already scheduled 49 OMS speeches. Kelpinski is among the nearly 800 OMS trained speakers in 30 states.

Here are some of the OMS accomplishments since its launch in 2004:

  • 63 speakers have scheduled 20 or more speeches
  • During a two-week period, almost every county commissioner in Nebraska heard from an OMS speaker
  • One speaker logged 600 miles in one week to give six OMS presentations

"I am amazed and inspired by how hard these volunteers work every day to build trust and understanding not only in rural communities but also in urban centers," says Ernie Barnes, NPB’s director of industry relations, "and, they’re always ready to step up when there are new challenges and opportunities to help the pork industry."

The 4,000th speech milestone means:

  • Nearly 116,000 consumers and opinion leaders have heard firsthand about the pork industry's innovation, stewardship and economic impact from actual pork producers.
  • More than 17 million people have seen positive pork industry news coverage based on an OMS media outreach program.
  • 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 U.S. pork industry. Topics covered 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.

Source: National Pork Board