The headlines can be daunting at times. The stories about consumers being bombarded with misleading and inaccurate messages about how their food is produced can be overwhelming. It’s a good thing that pork producers have a long history of working together toward common goals of improving production, increasing demand through promotion, and delivering accurate information to their customers. This winter and spring, pork producers throughout the country have the chance to get together with their peers to discuss pork industry issues, talk about solutions, and enjoy some good old camaraderie as state pork producer groups hold their annual meetings and trade shows.
A quick glance at the calendar shows that the very first pork council meeting of 2013 will be the South Dakota Pork Producers Council’s (SDPPC) 44th Annual Pork Congress on, Jan. 9-10, at the Ramkota Exhibit Hall in Sioux Falls, SD. About 800 producers and the state's secretary of agriculture are expected to attend the meeting.
According to Glenn Muller, SDPPC executive director, the main issues of concern to South Dakota pork producers are attempts by special interest groups to dictate the types of production practices producers can use.
“The South Dakota Pork Producers Council worked to establish a long-range plan two years ago focusing on a primary objective to responsibly grow the state’s pork industry,” Muller explains. “That goal will be a topic of discussion during our meeting as we attempt to maintain the infrastructure while building the industry in the state.”
Muller says attending the meeting gives producers a chance to have a voice in the policy-making process. Additional benefits of attending the state meeting include a chance to wander through an extensive trade show in order to learn about the latest pork industry technology, while having an opportunity to visit with consultants who are available to work with their operations.
These opportunities are not unique to South Dakota producers. Take a look at the “Events” section at http://nationalhogfarmer.com. to find your state's annual conferences and trade shows.
The time is now to work together. As Muller relates, “We’re not unique in that we, as a state, are dealing with issues that are of concern to the entire industry right now. Special interest groups and the impact they are having are of primary concern. I don’t think we can emphasize enough that others may be setting initiatives that can impact our country’s ability to produce red meat.”
Are you going to your local or state pork producers meeting? What pork industry topics are on your mind as we kick off 2013? Share your thoughts in the “comments” section here or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, you are not alone!