The National Pork Board has announced a stewardship plan to guide and support the responsible use of antibiotics for the U.S. pork industry. The newly defined position statement and governing policy was approved at the board’s June meeting and announced through a news conference at World Pork Expo.
Following unanimous approval, the Pork Board updated its position and policy statement that “embraces responsible antibiotic use in pork production” and pledges to “emphasize these values in its revised Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) producer certification and training programs” in the year ahead. Additionally, the National Pork Board intends to allocate up to $1.4 million in funding of scientific research and antibiotic risk assessment studies, producer education and consumer awareness programs.
“We understand the critically important role antibiotics play in both human medicine and in livestock production and know that consumers are keenly interested in how their food is produced,” said Chris Hodges, chief executive officer of the National Pork Board. “This stewardship plan will shape our industry’s approach to antibiotics, finding ways for our pig farmers to improve animal health with and without antibiotics.”
In other action, Derrick Sleezer, a pork producer from Cherokee, Iowa, was elected as president of the National Pork Board. Sleezer is serving his second three-year term on the National Pork Board and just concluded two years as the board’s treasurer.
“First and foremost, I am proud to be an American pig farmer and to serve my industry in leading the Pork Checkoff in the year ahead,” Sleezer said. “There is great consumer interest in agriculture and in understanding how food is grown, raised and marketed. I see much opportunity in the year ahead as we help shape that story.”
Serving with Sleezer as vice president is Jan Archer, a pork producer from Goldsboro, North Carolina. Terry O’Neel, a producer from Friend, Nebraska, was elected treasurer. The three executive officers will serve one-year terms in their positions beginning June 3. Outgoing president Dale Norton, a producer from Bronson, Michigan, will serve in a non-voting role as immediate past president.
“As we look ahead to the next five years, the Pork Checkoff is prepared to meet the challenges facing our industry,” Sleezer said. “Guided by the strategic plan, we have a sharp focus on building consumer trust, driving sustainable production and growing consumer demand for U.S. pork.”
Derrick Sleezer is an owner and employee of Sleezer, Inc., a farrow-to-finish, farrow-to-wean and farrow-to-feeder operation that has 700 sows and markets 15,000 hogs annually. The operation includes 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans. He also works for Kerber Companies in product design/implementation, safety and compliance. Sleezer chairs the Finance Committee, and serves on the Animal Welfare and Trade committees and represents the Pork Board on the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence board. He is a member of the 2010 Pork Leadership Academy and an avid Operation Main Street speaker who has given more than 40 presentations.
Jan Archer is an owner of Archer Farms LLC. The farrow-to-wean operation has 1,200 sows and produces about 31,000 weaned pigs annually. Archer also raises corn, soybeans and hay on 120 acres and operates Archer Consulting, an enterprise that provides personnel training to the pork industry, including PQA Plus, Youth PQA Plus and Transport Quality Assurance certifications for producers and allied industries. Archer serves on the National Pork Board Finance Committee and is a member of the Domestic Marketing and Producer and State Services committees. She is a member of the 2007 Pork Leadership Academy class and an Operation Main Street speaker. She serves on the executive committee of the North Carolina Pork Council and the North Carolina 4-H Development Board.
Terry O’Neel is the owner and manager of O’Neel Farm, a farrow-to-finish operation with 500 sows that markets 10,000 hogs annually. He also raises corn and soybeans on 700 acres. O’Neel is a member of both the National Pork Board Finance and Administrative committees and also serves on the Domestic Marketing and Pork Safety, Quality and Human Nutrition committees. He is an Operation Main Street speaker. O’Neel served as president of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association in 2007 and was an officer and director from 2001 to 2009.