Pork Act Delegates will discuss key issues, challenges and opportunities facing the pork industry during the upcoming National Pork Industry Forum meeting March 6-8 in St. Louis, Mo. The Pork Act Delegate Body theme for this year is ‘Owning our Future: The Choices We Face.’  

"This theme should give us much to debate regarding how the U.S. pork industry can be accountable to its customer’s desires, while building a trust relationship and doing so in a sustainable manner," said Lynn Harrison, National Pork Board President.

"A special task force will issue a report and delegates will consider a resolution endorsed by several states laying out a process for achieving success in building that trust relationship," said Alan Wilhoite, a pork producer from Lebanon, Ind., a National Pork Board member and chair of the Pork Checkoff Resolutions Committee. "In addition, there will be debate on resolutions dealing with support for PQA Plus™, The Other White Meat trademark, industry image and gestational housing research."

"Forum is a key time for the people who invest in the Checkoff to participate in the business of how to use those investments to address the critical issues faced by U.S. pork producers," said Harrison. "Delegates will discuss the profitability challenge facing them today and understand the options available to them over the next several months."

In addition, normal business will be conducted by the Delegates as it relates to the Pork Checkoff program, including the rate of the Checkoff and the amount of Checkoff revenue distributed to state pork associations for Checkoff-funded programs. Delegates also nominate producers and/or importers for appointment to the National Pork Board and to the Pork Nominating Committee. The recommendations concerning the Pork Checkoff and the appointments to the National Pork Board are made to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, who makes the final determination.

Pork Act Delegates are pork producers or importers nominated by their state associations or individually, then appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. Each of the 50 states may be represented by at least two Pork Act Delegates. The number of delegates and the voting "power" of each delegate are determined by the amount of Checkoff collected from the state they represent.

For 2008, the Secretary of Agriculture appointed 155 pork producers and 8 importers to the Pork Act Delegate Body. States have the option of not submitting nominees; three states did not submit nominees and four states submitted only one nominee.  Importer representation is based on assessments on imported pork and pork products.

Source: NPB