10. World Pork Expo - the Main Event
World Pork Expo crowd 2016
More than 20,000 producers and ag professionals, including 1,100 international guests from 35 countries, convened at the state fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, June 8-10. Presented by the National Pork Producers Council, the 28th annual Expo featured the world’s largest pork-specific trade show, a range of educational seminars and issue updates, and another Junior National swine show that filled the barns to capacity. Recap the event with this NHF gallery.
9. Countdown to new antibiotic rules
National Pork Board
We have been counting down all year and on Jan. 1, 2017, time has official run out. The implementation of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s new regulations for antibiotic use on the farm goes into effect. Under the new rules, medically important antibiotics can only be used for therapeutic use – to treat, control or prevent specific disease under veterinary guidance. Over-the-counter purchases will cease. Only feed-grade and water-based antibiotics will be affected. Producers, veterinarians, drug companies, feed mills and feed suppliers will all face new requirements, including expanded record-keeping.
The Veterinary Feed Directive requires a good working relationship with a veterinarian. Get the facts and double check to make sure that you are complying with the new rules today.
8. Pork boom
National Pork Board
At the release of each USDA Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report, the USDA documented exactly what market watchers have been reporting – record pork production. This year is the product of excellent and efficient pork production coupled with modest expansion.
7. Pushing packing capacity
Doing the math, market expert Steve Meyer calculates the current U.S. weekly packing capacity at 2.453 million head. The largest weekly slaughter for six weeks this fall surpassed this estimated weekly packing capacity. Meyer says by the second week of January the weekly slaughter numbers will pull back sharply, and he does not see the number close to capacity until the summer 2017. He says, “The worst of the fall numbers and the capacity is behind us.”
6. New plant euphoria
Seasoned professionals in the swine business never predicted the United States would welcome new pork processing plants. However, five new plants will be on line by 2018. This is welcome news for a pork industry that is struggling with packing capacity problems. The newest adventure by the Prestage family was rocky; the talk of the industry and an extremely heavy viewed story for National Hog Farmer.
5. Standing up for the pork industry
National Pork Board
At the 2016 Pork Forum, pork producers from across the United States called out the USDA for having recently entered into a settlement discussion with the Humane Society of the United States to put closure to the lawsuit over the sale of the “Pork, the Other White Meat” trademark rather than continuing to robustly defend a previously legally approved contract. In May, the Court ruled that the National Pork Producers Council can intervene in the lawsuit. The NPPC has tried to engage USDA and Department of Justice but was met with mediocre results. Therefore, NPPC has intervened with the case and pork producers can be assured they will be well represented, stresses NPPC president John Weber.
4. Top blog honors
Getty Images/Bennett Raglin
The most read blog, and frankly the most viewed content in 2016 on the National Hog Farmer website, was the blog Vegan Butcher, Just Plain Wrong. Realistically, the clicks were boosted by the non-meat eating community. Nevertheless the opening of the first Vegan Butcher in Minnesota did not go unnoticed.
3. Top article honors
Getty Images/Denis Doyle
The most viewed article in 2016 was 5 ‘impact’ factors of new hog processing plants written by Steve Meyer. The talk of the new pork processing plants was all the buzz in 2016. In this market column, Meyer asked the most frequent question, “What will be the impact of all of these new hog plants?”
2. New changes for National Hog Farmer
National Hog Farmer
In the last few months of the year, the National Hog Farmer’s website received a fresh new look. The slick new site hosts new functionality designed to make that experience better than ever: Read on new devices, bigger and better photos, expanded markets and weather information and simple navigation. In addition to the upgrade to the website, subtle changes to the National Hog Farmer magazine will greet readers in 2017. You will get the same quality content in print and online but just in a shiny new cover. The largest change for National Hog Farmer in 2017 is the newsletters. Every weekday a daily newsletter will deliver the latest information to your Inbox. The National Hog Farmer Daily will replace the Monday and Friday newsletters. Make sure you sign up, and that all your employees subscribe to the daily newsletter on the NHF website.
1. It's not headlines, it's the people
The most memorable moments for the National Hog Farmer staff is the priceless time we spend with the great people in the swine business. It is our honor to tell your story and we thank you for turning pages, clicking on stories and reading the outstanding content provided to you each day.