News from the National Pork Board
National Pork Board announces Blue Ribbon Panel on antibiotics

The National Pork Board has announced members of its Blue Ribbon Panel on antibiotics, an outcome of the Pork Checkoff’s stewardship plan first defined in June. The new third-party panel includes experts with specific experience in and knowledge of antibiotic practices or consumer marketing, but who are independent of National Pork Board practices.

“The critical role antibiotics play in pig farming is one of the most misunderstood facets of food production today,” said Chris Hodges, National Pork Board chief executive officer. “We thank these leaders for their assistance and appreciate their range of expertise. From rigorous scientific study to food service and retail management, these experts will help us continue to build consumer trust and confidence in meat production.”

For more information, go to or contact Jennifer Koeman at or 515-223-2633.

Checkoff starts new producer awareness campaign on new antibiotics rules, creates Antibiotics Resource Center

As part of the Pork Checkoff’s year-long producer awareness and education campaign about the new rules affecting antibiotics in 2017, a comprehensive set of activities is now underway. According to Mike King, the Checkoff’s director of science communications, these tactics include new fact sheets, brochures, newsletters, and an advertising campaign aimed at getting producers ready for the new Veterinary Feed Directive and the prescription rule for water-based medication.

For more information, see the Checkoff’s Antibiotics Resource Center at or contact Mike King at or 515-223-3532.

New Employee Safety Toolkit available

Preliminary 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistic data show that the non-fatal injury and illness incidence rate for hog production is nine per 100 full-time workers. This rate is 2.8 times higher than all industry averages, 2.5 times higher than construction, and 1.6 times higher than crop production. To help improve these statistics, the Pork Checkoff is revising worker safety training materials to better address the hands-on, highly visual learning styles of barn workers. The new Employee Safety Toolkit will be available in early 2016 and will have a format similar to that of the Safe Animal Handling Toolkit. The new kit will cover 21 key safety topics, ranging from hazardous gases to good housekeeping.

To accommodate different training environments and needs, the training materials will be flexible, interactive, and reflective of barn realities. The materials, available in both English and Spanish, will include video, PowerPoint presentations, supplemental knowledge checks, and practical skill-testing ideas.

For information about ordering the new toolkit, call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at 800-456-7675.

New infographic explains responsible antibiotic use on pig farms

The National Pork Board has debuted a new infographic depicting how US pig farmers work with their veterinarians to use antibiotics responsibly, helping to keep people, pigs, and the planet healthy.

“The role antibiotics play in pig farming is often misunderstood,” said Chris Hodges, National Pork Board chief executive officer. “That’s why we work closely with various groups in the food chain and why we’re reaching out to consumers with information about how antibiotics are used on the farm. It’s all part of our responsibility to build consumer trust in pork production.”

To order free copies of the infographic, visit the Pork Store at