Winning the new People’s Choice BBQ contest at World Pork Expo was the Iowa Outlaws team, Kyle and Bob Brown of Des Moines, Iowa. They earned champion honors in both the baby back ribs and pork sausage divisions held this week. Kyle Brown is pictured.
Don Butler of Warsaw, North Carolina is the immediate past president of the National Pork Producers Council. He is leading NPPC’s efforts to gain passage of those pending Free Trade Agreements with Korea, Columbia and Panama. We asked Butler about labor’s opposition to the FTAs and what FTA passage would mean to pork producers.
Pfizer Animal Health is a long-time supporter of the pork industry. We had an opportunity to visit with Gloria Basse, who heads up Pfizer Animal Health’s swine division, about Pfizer’s vision for the future in terms of products and services offered to the pork industry.
Congress continues to work on food safety reform. That legislation is of key interest to pork producers, says Bob Dyhuis of Holland, Michigan, who serves on the National Pork Producers Council’s board of directors. During a Wednesday news conference at World Pork Expo, Dykhuis gave reporters an update on food safety reform bills in the House and Senate and also talked about NPPC’s stance on animal ID.
Brownfield’s Ken Anderson talks to pork producer Alan Wilhoite of Lebanon, Indiana about his 1,200 sow farrow-to-finish operation. Wilhoite, who serves on the National Pork Board’s board of directors, discusses the importance of the PQA Plus certification program, his concerns about the antibiotics issue, and how he is dealing with vomitoxin in his corn supply from 2009.
Pfizer Animal Health has created a system to help producers identify and categorize sick pigs as A, B or C. Dr. Ron White is a senior swine veterinarian with Pfizer. He says Pfizer is educating pig caregivers on this technique through the Individual Pig Care program. Results have shown better pig productivity, reduced medication costs and, overall, more high value pigs. Dr. White also discusses the cost of retreating pigs and the role that early vaccination plays in controlling mycoplasmal pneumonia.
“Pork. The Other White Meat.” is considered to be one of the great advertising campaigns of all time. But according to the National Pork Board’s (NPB) vice president of domestic marketing, Ceci Snyder, research shows that “The Other White Meat” is no longer motivating consumers to buy pork. Snyder is leading NPB’s effort to develop a new brand position for pork with the goal of announcing a new campaign at the March 2011 Pork Forum. Here are some of Snyder’s comments from the NPB’s Wednesday news conference.
In 1989, pork producers developed the Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) program, a producer education and certification program to reduce the risk of violative animal health product residues in pork. In 2007, PQA evolved into PQA Plus to reflect increasing customer and consumer interest in the way food animals are raised. On Wednesday at World Pork Expo, the National Pork Board announced that nearly 50-thousand producers have become PQA Plus certified, representing about 60 percent of the nation’s hogs. We discussed the PQA Plus effort with National Pork Board president Tim Bierman of Larabee, Iowa.
According to Pfizer Animal Health’s manager of veterinary operations, Dr. Mike Senn, ileitis is the number one disease found in grow-finish pigs. He says although it’s not new, it continues to take its toll on pigs. Dr. Senn talks about how a pork producer should go about evaluating his or her ileitis control program in terms of medication costs, success of treatment, and reduction in incidence and severity of the disease.
What a difference a year makes. Last year pork producers were bleeding red ink with no apparent end in sight. Now they are able to lock in some nice profits, which many of them needed badly to pay down debt accumulated over the past couple of years. How long will the good times continue? We put that question to pork economists Steve Meyer of Paragon Economics and retired University of Missouri professor Glenn Grimes.