National Pork Board’s foreign animal disease research task force brings insights into the pork industry from veterinarians, producers and industry experts. Lisa Becton, the Pork Board’s director of swine health, said this group has a focus on foreign animal disease control.
“What do we need to know to be prepared? But also, what do we need to know to even prevent the disease from getting in? And so, these producers are really doing the lion’s share of work, identifying where does that research need to be done, and then what do we need to focus on.”
Dr. Becton said one area of research from the task force involves disease surveillance and sample collection.
“Working with USDA to ensure that that’s appropriate for them to be able to diagnose the disease and then take subsequent action. And so, we’re working hand in glove with producers, really even overseas, to look at what’s the value of the sample type and can it help USDA aid in the early diagnosis.”
For this research to be successful, it requires hands-on collaboration with producers with diverse production backgrounds.
“You know, we encourage any producer that’s got an interest in this area, because we need to have all those different perspectives because everybody’s operation is different. No one farm isn’t like, and so, we’ve got to have direction from producers of how do these things affect them.”
The Pork Checkoff strategic plan was developed with grassroots input from across the industry, including more than 1,000 pork producers, and focuses on two overarching goals: Build Trust and Add Value.
The Pork Board’s task forces work to provide insights and direction for the pork industry on a variety of priority issues. To learn more – or to express your interest in serving on a task force – visit porkcheckoff.org.