The pork industry held its annual business meeting, the National Pork Industry Forum, March 5-7 in San Antonio. At the meeting, Pork Act Delegates ranked nine candidates for the National Pork Board and submitted the list to the U.S. secretary of agriculture. The candidates, ranked in order, are:
• David Newman, North Dakota
• Patrick FitzSimmons, Minnesota
• Carl Link, Ohio (second term incumbent)
• Bill Tentinger, Iowa
• Gary Asay, Illinois
• Kristine Scheller-Stewart, Missouri
• Thomas Goodwin, Idaho
• Michael Gruber, Texas
• Ed Keller, New York
The U.S. secretary of agriculture will select six members from the slate elected by the delegates to fill the roles of outgoing board members effective July 2015. Five of the nominees will serve a three-year term, and the sixth will complete a two-year term due to a recent departure. There are 15 pork producers on the board, each limited in serving no more than two terms.
Delegates also elected three members to the Nominating Committee, which recruits and screens candidates for the National Pork Board. Members of the Nominating Committee are not approved by the secretary. In other business, delegates approved two non-binding directives for the National Pork Board. The approved motions read:
• Premises ID: The National Pork Board encourages all producers and veterinarians to work with their veterinary diagnostic laboratory service providers to adapt and use methods that electronically incorporate premises identification numbers into all of their diagnostic lab records to enhance the systems of traceability and animal health information management infrastructure necessary to support the 21st century U.S. pork industry.
• Transportation and Biosecurity: The Minnesota Pork Producers Association recommends that the National Pork Producers Council, National Pork Board and North American Meat Association cooperatively address issues around transportation and bio-security. Items to be addressed are as follows, but not limited to: Trucking schedules and wait times, truck unloading/animal handling and biosecurity.