News from the National Pork Board

Swine health among top priorities for National Pork Board checkoff programs

As of July 1, 2001, the National Pork Board's separation from the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) was completed, as required by an agreement among the US Department of Agriculture, the Michigan Pork Producers, and the NPPC. The NPPC had been serving as the National Pork Board's general contractor. Now the National Pork Board will manage checkoff-funded programs directly, with its own location, accounting system, and staff. Plans to select a new Chief Executive Officer for the National Pork Board are underway.

Federal legislation in 1986 implemented the mandatory pork checkoff and outlined the types of programs that can be funded with checkoff dollars. This legislation also created the National Pork Board to carry out promotion, research, and consumer information projects as directed by pork producers. Checkoff funds cannot be used to influence public policy or lobbying.

The checkoff is expected to generate about $43.7 million in 2002. Most of these funds will be used on the national level for continuing programs, including advertising, marketing, swine health, and pork safety and quality. State associations receive about 20% of the checkoff revenue for use in programs at the state level.

No disruption in the pork industry's science and technology programs should occur as a result of the separation. Current projects will continue, and new programs will be developed in response to industry needs. The e-mail addresses have changed, but phone numbers and addresses for the National Pork Board's Science and Technology staff have remained the same. Please continue to contact them with any questions or comments you have about the pork industry's programs and research.

Wagstrom joins staff as Veterinary Science Specialist

Dr Liz Wagstrom joined the National Pork Board Science and Technology Department as Director, Veterinary Science, in July. Prior to accepting her position with the National Pork Board, Dr Wagstrom worked as an epidemiologist and public health veterinarian for the Minnesota Department of Health in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dr Wagstrom received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Iowa State University in 1999.

At the National Pork Board, Dr Wagstrom will be responsible for on-farm and pre-harvest pork safety issues. She will provide technical support for a broad range of veterinary science issues in these areas, including such topics as the Trichinae Herd Certification program, Toxoplasma, and on-farm salmonella prevention. She also will work with veterinarians, producers, and other segments of the pork chain and will provide information on veterinary issues to state associations and others as needed. If you need technical support on veterinary issues in the pork industry, please contact Dr Wagstrom at 515-223-2757 or

National Pork Board seeks research projects for checkoff funds

During the last week of August, the National Pork Board mailed a request for research proposals to solicit proposals studying topics in pork production and pork quality. This is the organization's annual request for proposals for its competitive research grants. Specific areas of interest for research projects include swine health, pork safety (pre-harvest), animal welfare, environment and public health, pork safety (post-harvest), pork quality, and human nutrition. Proposals will be reviewed by both technical advisors and pork producers prior to committee selection meetings in December. During these meetings, proposals will be selected for checkoff funding by National Pork Board producer committees. To be considered for committee review, all proposals must be received at the National Pork Board by Wednesday, October 17, 2001. Please contact Eric Hentges, Director of Research at the National Pork Board, at 515-223-2783 or, for more information. The request for proposals also can be found on the National Pork Board's Science and Technology Department's web site,

National Pork Board Science and Technology staff

  • Dr Beth Lautner, Vice President, Science and Technology,
  • Dr David Meisinger, Assistant Vice President, Pork Quality,
  • Dr Paul Sundberg, Assistant Vice President, Veterinary Issues,
  • Dr Eric Hentges, Director, Research,
  • Dr Michele Senne, Director, Pork Safety,
  • Dr Liz Wagstrom, Director, Veterinary Science,
  • Sara Zenger, Director, Technical Information,