News from the National Pork Board
Checkoff adds Pyburn to sci-tech team

Beginning his second stint at the National Pork Board, Dave Pyburn has been named as assistant vice president of the Pork Checkoff’s Science and Technology Department. Previously, Pyburn had been director of veterinary science at the Checkoff from 1997 until 2000, when he joined the swine health staff of USDA-APHIS-VS. While at USDA, Pyburn represented APHIS-VS to a variety of producer, veterinarian, researcher-academic, and domestic and foreign government audiences and was a primary liaison between the agency and the pork industry.

For more information, contact Dave Pyburn at or 515-223-2634.

Checkoff offers combined FAD materials

Combined FAD materialsThe Pork Checkoff now has foreign animal disease (FAD) push packs with communications materials targeted to US pork producers. These resources have been in development over the last 2 years through a cooperative effort between the National Pork Board, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, United States Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-Veterinary Services (USDA-APHIS-VS), and Iowa State’s Center for Food Security and Public Health. Some materials in the packs include a laminated poster for producer biosecurity, visitor biosecurity, and information on classical swine fever, African swine fever, foot-and-mouth disease, and swine vesicular disease. The packs (Item #04892) are available at the Pork Checkoff Store, accessible via

Veterinarians and others interested in providing these resources in bulk at events where you will be interacting with pork producers are urged to contact Patrick Webb, Checkoff’s Director of Swine Health and Information, at or 515-223-3441.

Checkoff increases messaging on sow packer’s 2015 PIN tag requirement

PIN tag poster/adIn an effort to improve pre-harvest traceability and improve national disease surveillance in the pork industry, many major US packers and processors will require a USDA-approved, official premises identification number (PIN) tag as a condition of sale for breeding stock, beginning January 1, 2015. To help communicate that message, the Pork Checkoff is running national print ads in farm media and using other communications tools and outreach methods.

According to Dr Patrick Webb, Pork Checkoff’s Director of Swine Health, the USDA-approved, official PIN tags for breeding swine are customizable with or without a management number and can be purchased in multiple colors to be used as a management tag or just before sows and boars leave the production site to enter harvest channels.

Allflex USA, Inc (DFW Airport, Texas), Destron Fearing (South St Paul, Minnesota), and Y-Tex Corporation (Cody, Wyoming) have USDA approval to manufacture official PIN swine tags. When ordering, producers must provide the nationally standardized PIN for the breeding farm. If the site does not have a PIN, the producer can register for one by going to

For more information, contact Patrick Webb atPWebb@pork.orgor 515-223-3441.

Checkoff increases frequency of PEDV Update Newsletter PEDV Update Newsletter

To give producers, veterinarians, and others in the industry even more access and updated information on porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), the Pork Checkoff relaunched its PEDV Update electronic newsletter in January. Now, recipients receive it every 2 weeks with new PEDV-related features, fact sheets, and related information. If you do not receive the newsletter, please contact Mike King, Checkoff’s Science Communications Manager, at or 515-223-3532.

Environmental Stewards application deadline approaches

As swine veterinarians, many of you likely know multiple pork producers who demonstrate the high environmental standards and other “We Care” ethical principles that the Environmental Stewards program represents. If so, please take a few minutes to forward an application to them or notify your state pork association of your potential nominees. The deadline for applications, which are found on, is March 31, 2014.

For more information, contact Mike King atMKing@pork.orgor 515-223-3532.

Pork Checkoff sets course through 2020

As the National Pork Board sets its course for 2015 through 2020, the organization’s strategic planning task force is using the most current information available on top trends in the economic and food-production environments that are most likely to impact the Pork Checkoff program. The analysis is part of the National Pork Board’s strategic planning initiative. The task force met for the first time in December 2013.

“Our overarching objective is to assess the role the Pork Checkoff plays in an ever-changing world and to identify strategic opportunities for us to help move the pork industry forward,” said Chris Novak, Chief Executive Officer of the National Pork Board. He added, “This may mean developing programs that increase consumer trust and comfort in purchasing pork. Consumer needs regarding food safety and transparency and producer needs to protect the environment and provide the best possible animal care will be front and center.”

For more information on Pork Checkoff’s strategic planning, contact Paul Sundberg, Checkoff’s Vice President of Science and Technology, at or 515-223-2764.

New National Swine Reproduction Guide available

Swine Reproduction GuideThe US Center for Pork Excellence (USCPE) is now offering a Web-based troubleshooting guide presented in a decision-tree format. Solving reproductive problems has a very high return on investment, but the problems are often multi-faceted and are difficult to identify. This online guide, partially funded by the Pork Checkoff, can help pork producers and their support network to identify these problems and find solutions. The guide is organized into three themes based upon gilt, sow, or boar (semen). Once a user gets beyond these primary themes, the main problems are identified, which places the user into a decision tree. From there, the user can answer a series of questions which have answers, academic background, fact sheets, and references. The Internet-based guide costs $75 per year and is available via USCPE’s site,

For more information, contact Chelsey Branderhorst at or 515-223-2641.