One of the reasons I love going to meetings and trade shows is to visit with producers and industry specialists. Many of my best ideas come from listening to your opinions and perspectives on industry issues. You’re in the trenches every day, so your perspective has more validity than anyone else’s.

Unfortunately, there never seems to be enough time to hear from all the people I know and respect when I go to these events. That’s why we’re adding the PorkNetwork Weigh-In poll to our website. Sponsored by Merck Animal Health, this poll provides a “win-win” opportunity. You have the chance to “weigh-in” with your opinions and see how many people agree with you. You’ll also be able to “comment” on the PorkNetwork Weigh-In landing page and participate in an on-line conversation with other PorkNetwork readers.

The “win” for me is that I will have a good gauge of how you feel about important industry topics and issues. In addition, I’ll be able to take the responses and encapsulate them for future articles on the site and in the PorkNetwork magazine.

For example, our first poll question is about on-farm animal care, and who should be responsible for monitoring that care.

Should it be your herd veterinarian, or perhaps a designated representative from, say, NPPC or the American Association of Swine Veterinarians so it’s more standardized? Or should it be a third-party auditing firm that has a standardized system in line with packers and processors? Or (heaven forbid), should a state or federal official come to your farm and evaluate your animal care practices? On the other hand, should it just be each individual producer’s responsibility, with no other oversight?

There are a number of ways of looking at the issue, and it’s definitely a topic that bears your consideration. As an industry, we need to make sure that our animal-care practices are above reproach, and as new information and technology becomes available, we have to evaluate it to see if it can or should be incorporated in our operations.

The more responses we receive, the more representative the results, so please take 30 seconds and click on this link to take the poll.

We’re anxious to hear from you!