In response to pork producers’ requests for assistance in the areas of science and technology, the National Pork Board hired Anna Johnson, DVM, as the new director of animal welfare on Jan. 16.

"Pork producers sought out these experts to work on checkoff-funded programming to enhance information provided to producers in the area of animal welfare and swine health. A key part of increasing demand for pork is promoting a positive image for pork through responsible animal care practices and healthy animals," explains Craig Christensen, a pork producer from Bouton, Iowa.

Johnson will develop and implement animal welfare and other related programs and administer the Science & Technology Department's animal welfare research. She will develop educational material for producers and veterinarians and provide technical advice on animal welfare and welfare-related issues. She also will participate in long-range planning in her program area.

Previously, Johnson earned a doctorate degree in animal welfare at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Her research focused on animal behavior and how this impacts performance, and on welfare of the lactating sow and her litter.

National Pork Board