Quitman Pork Producer Provides Input on Checkoff Programs
Ronnie Fagan, a pig farmer from Quitman, Mississippi, served as a delegate to the Pork Act Delegate assembly March 6-8 in Orlando. Fagan was appointed as a delegate by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
“It was important to me to represent pork producers from across the United States as a Pork Act delegate,” Fagan said. “In today’s production environment, we must have a shared focus on sustainability and innovation. We are committed to the We Care® ethical principles. Those values – put on paper more than a decade ago – continue to drive the work of pork producers every day on their farms. This was reinforced throughout the Pork Act delegate meeting.”
Fagan was one of 163 appointed delegates who traveled from 47 states across the country to represent pork producers and importers who sell pork products in the United States. The duties of the delegate body include nominating members to serve on the National Pork Board, establishing how much of the Pork Checkoff is returned to state pork organizations and providing direction on pork promotion, research and consumer and producer education priorities funded by the Checkoff.
To fund programs, America’s pork producers contribute 40 cents of every $100 of sales to the Checkoff. Importers use a sales formula to contribute a similar amount. The role of the Pork Checkoff is to promote and enhance consumer pork demand on a global basis, as well as to invest in research designed to improve production practices and safeguard the pork supply, the environment and animal well-being. Building consumer confidence and educating America’s pig farmers about livestock production practices through training and certification programs also are key priorities.
The National Pork Board approved a 2019 budget for national spending of $59.1 million for promotion, research and education programs. The strategic direction of the Pork Checkoff is centered on building consumer trust, driving sustainable production and growing consumer demand in the United States and globally.
“It has never been more critical that we work together as producers, processors and food-chain partners to provide high-quality pork products to consumers,” Fagan said.
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety and sustainability and environmental management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at www.pork.org.