Pork Checkoff LogoNews from the National Pork Board
National Pork Board elects veterinarian as new president

Gene Nemechek, a swine veterinarian from Springdale, Arkansas, has been elected president of the National Pork Board by his fellow board members. The board also elected Everett Forkner, a pork producer from Richards, Missouri, vice president. Both began their 1-year terms effective July 1.

Nemechek is a swine quality assurance veterinarian with the live swine division of the Tyson Pork Group, Inc, for Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. He has a shared responsibility to work with the Tyson pork-production units in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri, as well as customer quality assurance for the Tyson Pork Group weaned-pig and feeder-pig customers.

For more information, contact Jim Meimann at 515-223-2634 or JMeimann@pork.org.

USDA names pork board members

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced five appointments to the 15-member National Pork Board. The five appointees began serving their 3-year terms on July 1. They were chosen from among eight pork producers nominated and ranked by the National Pork Act Delegate Body during its annual meeting in March.

The appointees are Everett L. Forkner, Richards, Missouri, second term; Julie A. Maschhoff, Carlyle, Illinois, first term; Derrick D. Sleezer, Cherokee, Iowa, first term; Wathina M. Luthi, Gage, Oklahoma, first term; and Steven R. Wuergler, Drain, Oregon, first term.

For more information, contact Jim Meimann at 515-223-2634 or JMeimann@pork.org.

Redesigned pork.org makes inroads

At this year’s World Pork Expo, the Pork Checkoff relaunched its homepage, pork.org, with a fresh new look and a more intuitive navigation. From early online reports, the revamped site appears to be drawing in more visitors, one of the goals of the project, which took nearly a year to complete. Most of the science and technical information is now located under the “Resources” tab located at the top of the main homepage.

For more information, contact Teresa Roof at 515-223-2616 or TRoof@pork.org.

Foot-and-mouth drill draws crowd

More than 80 attendees participated in a recent Pork Checkoff-sponsored table-top exercise that simulated a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak. The Des Moines meeting had representatives from production agriculture, law enforcement, media, and state and federal governments.

Although the United States has not had a FMD case since 1929, recent outbreaks in Japan and elsewhere have brought renewed attention to the need to be vigilant, says Patrick Webb, a veterinarian and director of swine health programs for the Pork Checkoff. “Exercises such as this are based on scenarios that require participants to make decisions and to move equipment and animals on a scale model of a small town and surrounding farms. We’ve found that it is a very effective way to demonstrate the importance of planning, preparedness, and surveillance.”

For more information about holding a disease-related table-top exercise, contact Patrick Webb at 515-223-3441 or PWebb@pork.org.

PQA Plus certifications: A cause for celebration

At this year’s World Pork Expo, PQA Plus certifications were nearing 50,000, so it was time for Pork Checkoff leadership to salute the hard work done by veterinarians, educators, and producers alike whose hard work made this milestone possible. However, as was made clear even at the festivities, more hard work is yet to be done, as additional PQA Plus certifications and site assessments need to be accomplished. For information on locating a state trainer or for a list of advisor training dates, go to www.pork.org or contact Pork Checkoff at 800-456-7675. You may also contact Stacy Revels at 515-223-2795 or SRevels@pork.org.