EATON — James Newton, a pig farmer from Eaton, served as a delegate to the Pork Act Delegate assembly held from Feb. 28 through March 2 in Kansas City. Newton 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,” Newton said. “As an industry, we are committed to ‘elevate U.S. pork as the global protein of choice by continuously and collaboratively working to do what’s right for people, pigs, and the planet.’ This was reinforced throughout the Pork Act delegate meeting.”
Newton was one of the 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 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 are also key priorities.
The National Pork Board approved a 2018 budget for national spending of $63.2 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,” Newton said.