US: Challenges facing the pork industry in talks

Pork Act Delegates will discuss some of the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing the pork industry during the annual business meeting of the U.S. pork industry March 4-6 in Kansas City, Mo., at the National Pork Industry Forum.

The Pork Act Delegate Body theme for this year is 'Leading a World-Class Food Industry - Responsible.
Sustainable. Professional. Profitable.'  "The theme mirrors the vision statement of the National Pork Board's new five-year strategic plan that will be presented to the delegates in Kansas City," said Tim Bierman, a Larrabee, Iowa, pork producer and president of the National Pork Board. "We are eager to get the delegates' reaction to the board's vision for the role the Pork Checkoff will play in our future."
"Forum also is a key time for Checkoff investors to participate in the business of how we use those investments to address critical issues faced by U.S. pork producers," said Bierman.  "Among the issues on the table this year are some new ideas about our marketing efforts as well as a progress report on programs that are helping to demonstrate producers' long-term commitment to socially responsible pork production."
In addition, Delegates will address issues related 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 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 pork producer 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 2010, Secretary Tom Vilsack has appointed 154 pork producers and 6 importers to the Pork Act Delegate Body.  Importer representation is based on assessments on imported pork and pork products.
More information about the Pork Checkoff activities at the National Pork Industry Forum is available on the Pork Checkoff site www.pork.org

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