With a wide array of challenges facing pork producers today, the National Pork Board is seeking input from pork producers across the country for a new plan to shape the future of the US pork industry.
The objective of the planning process is to find new solutions to the economic, social, and scientific challenges facing the pork industry. To ensure the plan is focused on critical day-to-day needs of pork producers, a series of regional meetings is planned for July to get pork producer input from three distinct geographic areas of the country.
The meetings are open to all pork producers and to others with an interest in the future of the pork industry and the role of the Pork Checkoff. The meetings will be from 9 A.M. to 2 P.M. on:
• Thursday, July 23-Omaha, Nebraska (Holiday Inn Convention Center-3321 South 72ndSt).
• Friday, July 24-Indianapolis, Indiana (Indiana Pork Producers Office-5722 W. 74thStreet).
And from 10 A.M. to 3 P.M. on:
• Monday, July 27-Clinton, N.C. (Sampson Community College-1801 Sunset Avenue).
During 2010, the National Pork Board will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the creation of the national Pork Checkoff. The strategic planning process is motivated in part by a desire to look at the role of the Pork Checkoff with fresh eyes, just as the pioneering producers who created the Checkoff did 25 years ago, said National Pork Board Chief Executive Chris Novak.
The big questions, Novak said, are, "What are the industry's needs, concerns and priorities now, and what will they be five years from now and even 25 years from now? And what should the National Pork Board be doing to address these needs through the Pork Checkoff?"
At the regional meetings, producers will hear a brief overview of the National Pork Board, its role in the industry and its statutory obligations. There will be a progress report on the planning process to date. And then producers will have the opportunity to provide their own ideas and to discuss others' ideas. The best of those ideas will go to the task force of producer leaders who are working with the farmer-leaders of the National Pork Board to craft a new plan for the future. The board is expected to approve a new strategic plan by the end of 2009.
Producers unable to attend one of the regional meetings can still participate in several ways, Novak said. They can provide their ideas to their state office or to state leaders who will attend the meetings. They also will have the opportunity to participate in an online survey that will be available on Pork.org.