National Pork Board news

Pork Checkoff LogoPork Checkoff's 2005 strategic plan and budget

The National Pork Board's Plan of Work-Budget Task Force is developing the Pork Checkoff's strategic plan and budget for 2005. Earlier this year, producers determined strategic intents for Checkoff funds. Since then, National Pork Board staff and committees have developed tactical plans and have proposed budgets. The task force will meet in Des Moines on September 29 to 30 to review tactics and budgets and draft final recommendations for the National Pork Board. The Board will meet in November 2004 to finalize the budget and send it for final approval by the US Department of Agriculture.

Security and biosecurity publications

The security and biosecurity guides for pork producers are now available in English and Spanish. These guides help producers review and evaluate risk factors to the security and biosecurity of their farms. They were developed as a collaborative effort by the Pork Checkoff Swine Health Committee, the National Biosecurity Research Center at Purdue University, and the National Pork Board and AASV's Biosecurity Working Groups. Also available are inserts with special considerations for pigs raised with access to outdoor lots and an outline to help producers evaluate the biosecurity of their semen supplier. The guides and inserts are important not only for the protection of individual producers' herds, but for the safety of the nation's food supply. They are useful references for producers and their employees; now in Spanish, they can be valuable training tools for the Hispanic workers on site.

To order, contact the Pork Checkoff ordering department at 515-223-2621. A complete list of publications produced with Checkoff dollars is available online at

2004 Swine Educators Conference

More than 140 agricultural educators and specialists, including state swine extension specialists and community college and high school educators, attended the 2004 Swine Educators Conference in Des Moines September 14 to 17. This annual event is sponsored by the Pork Checkoff and is an opportunity for the National Pork Board to listen to agricultural educators' needs and suggestions and to share information on Checkoff-sponsored research and activities. One of the main topics at this year's meeting was the National Pork Board's Distance Learning Program. The program covers topics from breeding and gestation management to on-farm euthanasia of swine and can be completed via CD-ROM or online.

Dr Tom Burkgren, AASV executive director, initiated a session on antibiotics and health by reviewing current issues and regulatory activities regarding the use of antibiotics in agriculture. The National Pork Board's Science and Technology department also announced it is working on an updated publication on responsible use of antibiotics. The publication will be finalized later this year and will be available for review at

Non-antimicrobial production enhancers publication

A review of published literature and Checkoff-funded research on non-antimicrobial performance enhancers is available from the National Pork Board. The booklet explains modes of action, performance effects, and antimicrobial effects, if any, of probiotics, prebiotics, organic acids, herbs, enzymes, immune modulators, and carnitine. These additives are of interest because of restrictions imposed by the US Food and Drug Administration on the long-term or group administration of certain antimicrobials as production enhancers. The publication is available online on the National Pork Board's Science and Technology website, It can also be ordered from the Pork Checkoff ordering department at 515-223-2621.