A new study finds that while pig farms of the 1950s may be remembered as idyllic, they were not as sustainable as those of today. This becomes clear as the metrics most associated with sustainability are revealed from their 1959 baseline – a 35% decrease in carbon footprint, a 41% reduction in water usage, and a 78% drop in land needed to produce a pound of pork. Garth Boyd, PhD, an environmental researcher and former university professor, led a team of university and industry scientists who conducted this Checkoff-funded study to look at how the industry’s gains in production efficiency over the last 50 years have affected pork’s environmental impact. Everything affecting pork’s footprint at the farm level was included in the model, including feed, water, energy, land, and crop-nutrient resources needed to produce pork.
For more information, contact Allan Stokes, AStokes@pork.org or at 515-223-3447.
Checkoff research abounds at Leman Swine Conference
If you are looking to find a wealth of the latest in swine research information, plan to attend the 2012 Allen D. Leman Swine Conference in St Paul, Minnesota, September 15-18. Whether it’s sow housing information, PRRS, or sow longevity research you’re interested in, you can learn what top researchers have discovered through their research funded by the Pork Checkoff. Also, as always, you can stop by the Checkoff booth to get many of the latest research materials, including euthanasia guides, carbon footprint information, and Pork Quality Assurance Plus materials.
For more information, contact Mike King, MKinfffg@pork.org or at 515-223-3532.
Checkoff introduces a new level of professionalism
The Pork Checkoff is introducing a new Certified Swine Manager program this fall to take pork producers to the next level in professionalism. The program will promote the industry’s ideal of continuous improvement and further the “We Care” ethical principles. In conjunction with this, the new program will define a core body of knowledge needed to achieve standards in pork production, establish educational standards, provide resources to acquire knowledge, and offer certification to validate knowledge gained and work accomplished. To become a Certified Swine Manager, producers will be required to pass assessments, including both a test and an on-the-job evaluation, to confirm the individual’s competence in all pork-production phases.
For more information, contact Jim Lummus at JLummus@pork.org or at 515-294-9073.
Veterinarians urged to speak up for pork
Since its launch in 2004, the Pork Checkoff’s Operation Main Street (OMS) program has played a key role in how the public views the pork industry. With a mission of spreading the “We Care” message, producers, veterinarians, and others who go through OMS training connect directly with the public and consumers on a local level. As the pork industry strives to continuously improve its programs, the Pork Checkoff has responded to broadened producer and veterinarian interest. An OMS 2.0 training session was added in 2006 that was designed to take the pork industry’s message to higher-level opinion leaders and decision makers, as well as to further develop the skills and confidence required of speakers in more challenging situations. All producers and veterinarians are encouraged to help speak up for pork. To get involved in the OMS program and training, call the Pork Checkoff Producer Service Center at 800-456-7675 or visit pork.org.
For more information, contact Ernie Barnes, EBarnes@pork.org or at 515-223-2751.