Continuing a practice begun several years ago, the National Pork Board will travel to Columbus, Ohio, January 12 to meet with Ohio pork producers as part of its January board meeting. On the board's agenda is final approval of a new strategic plan which is expected to provide direction for how the board will use Pork Checkoff revenue to achieve industry objectives over the next five years. If approved, the plan will be a topic of discussion at state pork association meetings and with delegates to Pork Industry Forum in Kansas City in March. The plan will guide budget deliberations for 2011.
Tim Bierman, an Iowa pork producer who serves as president of the 15-member National Pork Board, says being able to meet directly with pork producers in their home states gives the board a terrific opportunity to hear directly what's on their minds. Sometimes the issues of concern can be very different from region to region. For the board to be able to use the Pork Checkoff to serve the interests and needs of all producers, Bierman says it's important to learn about these regional differences.
While in Columbus, board members will discuss retail marketing with executives of Kroger Company, one of the nation's largest grocery retailers. They also will visit the headquarters of Bob Evans Farms, which operates more than 700 restaurants in 18 states, and the headquarters of Wendy's/Arby's Group, the nation's third largest quick service restaurant company with more than 10,000 restaurants.