August 2014 Newsletter

The National Pork Board thanks you for your interest in forming the Northeast Pork Association (NEPA). Over the course of the last several months, there has been quite a bit of behind-the-scenes work in order for NEPA to come to fruition, including the official formation of NEPA as a trade association. Look for increased engagement and opportunity for input in the coming months as we continue to work to create a viable, useful organization for northeast pork producers in the form of NEPA. Here are the latest updates on NEPA, as well as some relevant updates on current Pork Checkoff programs.

Contact Us: Alicia Pedemonti,     Todd Rodibaugh, 317-489-1552, TRodibaugh


NEPA Updates

The overarching purpose of NEPA is to provide producers in the northeast access to meaningful Pork Checkoff resources to help promote, support, and grow the pork industry. NEPA will provide easier access to National Pork Board professional staff, producer education opportunities in areas such as swine health, production, and nutrition, certification programs such as PQA Plus®, and increased engagement and input in Checkoff programming. The proposed structure of NEPA includes a part-time executive director to represent you and your interests both locally and nationally.

Welcome Alicia Pedemonti!

We have contracted with a New England producer, Alicia Pedemonti, to help assist our efforts in staying in touch with producers in the northeast regarding pertinent Checkoff and NEPA updates. Alicia will also be working to spread the word about NEPA and coordinate future meetings.

Alicia MacLean Pedemonti is a pork producer from Unity, NH. She farms with her husband on the farm she grew up on after having taken over the family’s business a few years ago. Alicia’s swine experiences have taken her away from the farm as well. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in Animal Science and is currently working on her Masters from the University of New England (Maine). She works for the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food as a veterinary technician with responsibilities that include running the swine brucellosis testing program. Her passion for the industry has brought her to leadership positions within various agricultural organizations, including her role as President of the NH Pork Producers Council.

In the fall, likely October, our goal is to convene a NEPA Launch meeting, to which interested producers will be invited. This will mark the formal beginning of NEPA, with the approval of an Executive Director and election of NEPA board members (at least 1 from each state). This meeting will also allow producers to have input on the framework of NEPA as an organization. Details of the time and location will be announced at a later date.

National Pork Board Elects New Officers

Dale Norton, a pork producer from Bronson, Mich., was elected as president of the National Pork Board at the organization’s June board meeting in Des Moines, Iowa. The National Pork Board is comprised of 15 farmer-directors representing America’s pig farmers.

“As a producer-director of the Pork Checkoff, I see so much opportunity in the year ahead,” Norton said. “There is great consumer interest in farming and understanding how food is raised and marketed. The Pork Checkoff is up for the challenges facing our industry, chief among them managing diseases like Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus. Sharing our stories of success in research, education and promotion will be a priority for me as we introduce our new five-year strategic plan.”

Norton is a partner in Kendale Farm, Bronson, Mich., which is primarily a farrow-to-wean operation with 1,450 sows that also finishes about a third of the pigs. He is involved with a cow/calf operation and raises corn, soybeans, hay, green beans, peppers for processing, and seed corn on more than 3,500 acres. Nationally, he is serving his second three-year term on the National Pork Board. He had served as the Pork Checkoff’s representative on the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) and serves on the Swine Health Committee.

Serving with Norton as vice president is Brad Greenway, a pork producer from Mitchell, S.D. Derrick Sleezer, a pork producer from Cherokee, Iowa, will continue as treasurer. The three executive officers will serve one-year terms in their positions beginning immediately.

“As we look forward to the next five years, our industry is excited to engage with foodservice and retail leaders, as well as consumers, underscoring the versatile, nutritious product that we offer to shoppers in the U.S. and worldwide,” Norton said. “It’s important that producers continue to build trust and share our commitment with our customers.”

Lisa Colby

Congratulations to Lisa Colby on her sixth year on the National Pork Board. Colby of Newburyport, MA is owner/manager of Colby Farm, a farrow-to-feeder pig operation with 25 sows that markets 400 hogs annually. She also raises hay on 300 acres, straw on 43 acres and assorted vegetables on 25 acres. She is a 2004 Pork Leadership Academy graduate and has served as a Pork Act Delegate for seven years.

Nationally, Colby is serving her second three-year term on the National Pork Board. At the state level, Colby is a member of the New Hampshire Pork Producers Council and is serving as the recording secretary. Locally, she is the president of the Essex County Farm Bureau and COC Advisor for the USDA Farm Service Agency. She also is a member of the National Hay Association and the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association.

Boston Marathon

One year after the tragic bombing that occurred at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, thousands of runners, fans and volunteers stood strong to show their support. For the third year, Minnesota Pork was among these thousands of people sharing the health benefits of pork to health conscious consumers.

Pig farmers from Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Massachusetts helped at the booth located at the John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo along with the National Pork Board trailer.

“I enjoy and look forward to this event every year as an opportunity to share and discuss pork with a large and varied consumer group, regionally, nationally and even internationally,” said Scott Bailey a pig farmer from Pennsylvania.

The booth featured pork loin samples, recipes, nutrition information, thermometers, snap bracelets and reflective lights. Fifty pork loins were grilled and handed out as samples to consumers.

“Our booth is always very well received. The amount of traffic we have and number of comments we get on the pork is incredible,” said Bailey.

“My favorite part is when someone grabs a sample as they are walking away and then comes back asking how we made the pork so delicious,” said Pam Voelkel, Minnesota Pork Board director of events, “that is when we can get the conversation started and share how to properly cook pork.”