PLI pork leadership class doubles in size

PLI pork
Photo: Canva

The US Pork Leadership Institute (PLI) class of 2024 has just been announced, and it promises to be a well-attended edition. PLI is a comprehensive, year-long programme that welcomes over a 12 future industry leaders each year. They are nominated by state pork association executives and National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) field representatives. PLI is described as “instrumental in shaping the success of pork producers by cultivating knowledgeable industry ambassadors and future leaders.”

Lucy Russell, NPPC manager of producer engagement: “This year, we have 19 participants committed to taking on more responsibility in their respective roles, more than doubling our original class size.”

6-session curriculum

Russell explained that PLI emerged from combining the National Pork Board’s Pork Leadership Academy with NPPC’s Public Policy Leadership Institute. Both started about 20 years ago. “In 2010, the 2 organisations realised the necessity of having well-versed advocates capable of responding not only to emerging research and trends in the industry but also of ensuring they could comment on the policy issues affecting the agriculture sector,” she said.

PLI currently has a 6-session curriculum. It focuses on providing participants with opportunities to partake in the legislative process, as well as taking them through retail and market trends and otherwise setting them up to be successful leaders.

Realities of 2024

PLI will help this year’s participants face the current realities of pig farming in the US. “Participants receive updates and projections from industry experts about trends and forecasts and how to optimise their production”, Russell said. “We have subject matter experts covering issues from herd health to market analysts to increasing demand domestically and internationally. These experts remain available and continue to support PLI students as their needs shift and as they participate in various committees and task forces. PLI also enables participants to develop a support system of peers that they can turn to when they encounter a challenge.”

Use of big data

Recently, experts such as economists Dr Lance Mulberry and Dr Dennis Dipietre at a US consulting firm KnowledgeVentures have pointed to the huge potential of data analytics to help US pig farmers ensure profit, starting as soon as this year. In response, PLI will invite “industry giants like SAS to speak about big data,” says Russell, “not only regarding production optimisation but also from an environmental impact and human health perspective.”

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Treena Hein Correspondent