News from the National Pork Board
Johnson named interim CEO of National Pork Board

John Johnson, who has been the chief operating officer of the National Pork Board, is serving as the interim CEO of the organization until a replacement can be found by the group’s search firm and approved by the board. Chris Novak, the previous National Pork Board CEO, stepped down after 6 years of service to the pork industry and the Pork Checkoff to take leadership of the National Corn Growers Association.

For more information, contact Kevin Waetke at or 515-223-2638.

Sow PIN tags deadline January 1, 2015

In 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 United States Department of Agriculture- (USDA-) approved, official premises identification number (PIN) swine tag as a condition of sale for breeding stock beginning January 1, 2015.

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. This will allow producers to use the official tag in any color as a management tag or wait to apply the tag to sows or boars prior to leaving the production site to enter harvest channels. All records documenting the identification and movement of breeding stock should be kept for 3 years.

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

The following packers will require PIN tags as of January 2015: Johnsonville, Hillshire Brands, Calihan Pork Processors, Bob Evans Farms, Wampler’s Farm Sausage, Pine Ridge Farms, Pioneer v21n2Packing Co, Pork King Packing, and Abbyland Pork Pack.

For more information, contact Patrick Webb at or 515-223-3441.

2014 Environmental Stewards announced

The Pork Checkoff, along with its co-sponsor, National Hog Farmer magazine, has selected two pork farms to be honored as the 2014 Pork Industry Environmental Stewards. The award, now in its 20th year, recognizes producers who are dedicated to safeguarding the environment and contributing to their local communities.

The 2014 award recipients are Bruce and Jenny Wessling, Grand Junction, Iowa; and David and Sharon Stephens, Malta Bend, Missouri. The judges for the 2014 award represented pork producers and environmental organizations from across the country. The committee reviewed applications from pig farmers who are committed to upholding the ideal relationship between pork production and the environment. Videos of these farms may be viewed on

For more information, contact Mike King at or 515-223-3532.