NPB commits $2 million to ‘pig adventure center’

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DENVER-- The National Pork Board has decided to contribute $2 million to help fund the Fair Oaks Pig Adventure Center.  The decision was made in NPB’s board meeting on Thursday, held in conjunction with the National Pork Industry Forum in Denver.

The “Pig Adventure” exhibit will be designed to offer the public a close-up view of a working, 2,500-sow farm and nursery called Legacy Farm. The pork production facility will be down the road from the Fair Oaks Farms’ Adventure Center, which began in 2004 and focuses on dairy production and products. The complex is and easy drive from Chicago.

Belstra Milling will build, own and operate the 15,000-square-foot pork production unit. Bus tours will take visitors to the facilities where biosecure viewing corridors will provide a look at farrowing sows and litters and daily production practices. An interactive education center, located on Fair Oaks Farms’ main campus, will provide information on other aspects of pork production and its products.

The Pig Adventure Center’s organizers were hoping for $4.8 million from NPB, which would have covered about half of the exhibit’s $9.6 million estimated cost. Under the agreement, NPB will provide $1 million to help start the project, with $1 million more coming once the organizers have secured $7.6 million for the complete exhibit.

One significant caveat is that NPB’s money must be used for education purposes versus the production unit and that NPB has approval regarding the information presented at the center. These requirements are in line with directives for National Pork Checkoff funds as stipulated by the Pork Act, which can only be used for research, education and promotion.

As part of the education center and the overall effort, there also will be web-based and classroom education support pieces, which Indiana Pork will provide $250,000 toward that effort.

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Travis Dunekacke    
Elk Creek, NE  |  March, 03, 2012 at 12:11 AM

I think kids should be able to pet the sows & hold baby pigs. We should always be sale to

Thom Katt    
Midwest  |  March, 05, 2012 at 03:24 PM

I agree. They should make the farm a farrow to finish operation so that bio-security issues are minimized, or at least contained at that site. Hands-on is much more effective than eyes-on. With that said, the dairy adventure isn't hands on and it has been very successful and wildly popular. So I'm sure Fair Oaks, Belstra and NPB are going to hit a homerun with this project.

NW Indiana  |  March, 05, 2012 at 09:54 AM

Isn't the pork-checkoff a tax?

NW Indiana  |  March, 05, 2012 at 09:57 AM

Isn't the pork-checkoff a tax?

NW Indiana  |  March, 05, 2012 at 09:58 AM

Isn't the pork-checkoff a tax?

NW Indiana  |  March, 05, 2012 at 09:59 AM

Isn't the pork-checkoff a tax?

Thom Katt    
Midwest  |  March, 05, 2012 at 03:20 PM

You could make the argument that all of the commodity check-offs are taxes, althought they may not fit the classic and legal definition of a tax. So what is the point of youre question? I think it is pretty clear in the article how the NPB deliberated whether this was a legitimate use of check-off dollars.

Iowa  |  March, 05, 2012 at 10:12 AM

What type of production facility will it be? Is farrowing the only viewing area? Would like to see more details about the facility.

SD  |  March, 05, 2012 at 11:50 AM

IF such check-offs are a tax, they are certainly voted in by a majority of the folks who pay the tax because there has to be a vote of those involved in the business to implement. If it is like the beef checkoff, the producers themselves control/manage/run (choose your term) the checkoff, unlike government mandated taxes, even if 'voted in'. Such funds are intended as a self-help to keep the industry viable and are come with rules stating just how the funds may be used, and by whom. They also have oversight by USDA to assure the rules are followed. They also have a mechanism to end the collection of funds by a vote of the pork producers.


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