News from the National Pork Board
Pork Checkoff launches campaign to educate producers on antibiotics changes

Although the National Pork Board has been involved in creating producer-friendly information regarding proper antibiotic use for many years, the impending changes stemming from FDA guidances 209 and 213 have prompted an all-out campaign to prepare the industry before the 2017 implementation.

“We’ve certainly taken a holistic approach to this educational campaign,” said Mike King, director of science communications at the Pork Checkoff. “It’s our responsibility to make all producers aware of the coming changes to antibiotic use on the farm and how they can be fully prepared. With our fact sheets, brochures, newsletters, advertisements, webinars, seminars,, and other tactics, we hope to reach this objective.”

For sure, swine veterinarians are front and center in helping producers prepare for full compliance with the new antibiotics changes.

“If they haven’t already done so, producers should sit down with their veterinarians and determine what they need to do to comply with the new veterinary feed directive (VFD) and prescription requirement for water-based medications,” said Jennifer Koeman, DVM, Pork Checkoff’s director of producer and public health.

For more information, contact Mike King, director of science communications at the National Pork Board at or 515-223-3532.

Nominations for 2016 America’s Pig Farmer of the Year close soon

The America’s Pig Farmer of the Year program is accepting nominations for the 2016 award until March 13 at The award honors the US pork producer who demonstrates excellence in raising pigs using the We Care ethical principles and in sharing his or her story with the public.

“It has been an honor to represent America’s pig farmers,” said Keith Schoettmer, a pig farmer from Indiana and the first America’s Pig Farmer of the Year. “I encourage anyone who knows an excellent pig farmer who wants to represent their farm and our industry, to nominate them for this award.”

For more information, contact Mike King, director of science communications, at or 515-223-3532.

Pork Checkoff offers crisis texting

The National Pork Board now offers PorkCrisis Alert, a news texting service that will immediately notify any opted-in producers or veterinarians of a crisis or emergency of national scope. Text PorkCrisis (no space) to 97296 to opt in for the Pork Checkoff’s new crisis-emergency alert system. As is usually the case, message and data rates may apply. Text HELP to 97296 for help. Text STOP to 97296 to cancel. For terms and privacy:

For more information, contact Cindy Cunningham, Pork Checkoff’s assistant vice president of communications at or 515-223-2600.

Checkoff offers USCARE as easy steps for antibiotic compliance

As an easy way to help assist producers and their herd veterinarians prepare for the coming antibiotic use changes, the Pork Checkoff offers USCARE. Its six key steps aim to assist producers in preparing for successful compliance with the impending regulations.

1. Understand the new feed (VFD) and water (Rx) rules.

2. Strengthen your vet-client-patient relationship (VCPR).

3. Communicate with your feed mill.

4. Assess your herd-health and welfare strategies.

5. Renew your commitment to responsible antibiotic use.

6. Ensure your record-keeping compliance.

For more information, please visit

Larsen named Assistant Vice President of Science and Technology

Dr Steve Larsen has been named Assistant Vice President of the National Pork Board’s science and technology committee. Previously, he was director of pork quality and safety at the National Pork Board where he has served for the past 10 years.

“Steve and the Pork Safety, Quality and Human Nutrition Committee have done an excellent job leading the pork safety and pork quality efforts on behalf of the pork industry,” said Dr Dave Pyburn, Pork Checkoff’s vice president of science and technology. “With Steve’s guidance the committee has successfully changed the end-point cooking temperature for pork so that the consumer has the best possible eating experience when enjoying pork. Steve and the committee are also now working on a system for the recognition of higher-quality pork and improving the production consistency of this high-quality pork so even more consumers routinely have an excellent eating experience when they choose pork.”

For more information, contact Steve Larsen at or 515-223-2754.