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November 8, 2018
The National Pork Board (NPB), the United Soybean Board (USB) and the National Corn Growers Assn. (NCGA) announced this week that they have signed a memorandum of understanding on a sustainability research platform that will benefit all three organizations and their producers. The research program will include sharing completed research, coordination on current and planned research and defining ways to share and communicate results with each organization’s members.
Leadership from the three commodity groups agree that it is prudent to consider specific ways in which they might work together more effectively to ensure alignment and collaboration in sustainability research and how the results can and will be communicated and shared.
“Sustainability is defined by the 'We Care' ethical principles pork producers established over 10 years ago,” said NPB president Steve Rommereim, a pig farmer from Alcester, S.D. “Joining in the efforts of two other organizations, as a collective group, we can more effectively spend producer dollars to achieve the goals we can all believe in and support. Without one, we wouldn’t have the other.”
An overarching goal of proactive, continuous improvement is a shared focus among pork, soybean and corn producers, the groups said.
“Most farmers are invested in multiple commodities and invested in more than one of our organizations, so it’s important that we are collaborating wherever we can,” said USB chair Lewis Bainbridge, a soybean and livestock farmer from South Dakota. “We need to be supportive of one another, especially now when there’s more interest in what we’re doing to produce our commodities. We need to be looking at the big picture of how our commodities work together and take that a step further.”
Through combined communications efforts and outreach, the organizations can increase the education, capacity and motivation of pig and grain farmers to adopt conservation measures that deliver benefits to the environment and to farm resilience and profitability.
“NCGA’s targeted focus -- whether it’s policy, market development or research -- is to grind more corn and do it profitably. However, in areas like sustainability and research, where we share goals and values in our industry, it is just plain smart to work in collaboration,” said NCGA president Lynn Chrisp of Hastings, Neb. “This memorandum will encourage increased communications, further sharing of staff and funding resources [and pooling] expertise and ultimately makes us all more effective.”
A task force of farmer representatives from NPB, USB and NCGA will be formed and, with support from each organization, will be responsible for managing and evaluating the activities outlined in the memorandum of understanding. Additionally, the task force will track progress and evaluate the value and impact of the memorandum upon completion of all activities.
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