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Project aims for emission-monitoring tool for grazing cattle

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The study aims to develop and adapt technology to monitor methane production in outdoor cattle.

Scientists at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) have done extensive studies into the emissions produced by cattle housed indoors, but restrictions in technology mean relatively little information is available on the amount of methane produced by animals being reared outside, SRUC said in an announcement.

After receiving £250,000 in funding from the U.K. Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) as part of a collaborative research project with European partners, SRUC has teamed up with the University of Strathclyde to develop and adapt existing precision livestock farming technology to mitigate and monitor methane production.

This includes animal-mounted activity sensors and systems for monitoring location, feeding behavior and weight to use with cattle outdoors, SRUC said.

The SRUC researchers said they hope the "GrASTech" project will ultimately identify the best options for managing grassland and grazing animals to reduce methane emissions.

According to SRUC, the GrASTech project will face a number of key technical challenges, including the miniaturizing of equipment, battery technology to permit long lifetime measurement periods and data transmission and capture for remote grazing environments.

“One of the key approaches for reducing methane emissions is to increase the health, fertility and longevity of animals. By adapting technologies used to monitor and manage these things for housed cattle, we expect to deliver similar benefits for grazing cattle,” SRUC professor Richard Dewhurst said.

University of Strathclyde professor Craig Michie added, “Creating a battery-powered methane sensing unit with the required performance for grazing cattle builds on our expertise both in advanced optical sensors for hostile environments and the pioneering innovation of neck-mounted collars that identify key conditions of individual animals."

SRUC said the project is due to run until September 2021.

Petition seeks FSIS action on salmonella

Petition seeks FSIS action on salmonella

Consumers groups filed a petition requesting that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) take additional action regarding salmonella strains from meat. The petition seeks expedited action to issue a new interpretive rule that declares salmonella bacteria as “adulterants” in order to increase monitoring efforts to better ensure the safety of the general public.

Salmonellosis is responsible for approximately 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths in the U.S. each year, the petition stated. Foodborne salmonellosis triggers approximately 130 outbreaks in the U.S. each year. Despite significant efforts to prevent salmonella infections, rates of the foodborne disease are not declining. In fact, the number of infections has substantially grown since 2015.

The petition wants FSIS to take this action through interpretive rule-making on 31 outbreak serotypes jointly or on each serotype individually, as it has a demonstrable history associated with either an illness outbreak or a product recall and is proved to be injurious to human health.

Such an action furthers the goals of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) to protect the health and welfare of consumers by encouraging the meat and poultry industry to engage in more effective oversight measures and create and implement effective preventive measures. These same motives prompted a previous court to find interpretive rule-making the proper avenue for USDA to deem another harmful pathogen, Escherichia coli O157:H7, as an adulterant under FMIA, the petition noted.

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In the wake of a major outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses, FSIS announced in 1994 that it would henceforth interpret FMIA to declare E. coli O157:H7 an adulterant. A few years later, the present petitioners requested that FSIS declare all enterohemorrhagic Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) serotypes to be adulterants within the meaning of FMIA. FSIS announced that it would do just that in 2012, officially declaring six additional strains of E. coli — O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 and O145 — to be adulterants. The 2012 declaration was based on the six strains’ demonstrated threat to human health and to the U.S. food supply, as well as the fact that “illnesses due to E. coli serogroups other than O157:H7 … outnumber[ed] those attributed to O157:H7."

The petition explained, “The effect of these declarations is unmistakable. Although it took time to implement the necessary changes and methodology ensuring compliance with FSIS’s new declaration, these heightened standards caused a predictable initial spike in reporting numbers, followed by a sharp decline in both recall events and reported illnesses (Figure 1) as, presumably, the industry reacted positively to the heightened safety requirements. Meanwhile, reports of salmonellosis — which had been consistently higher than the reported numbers of both O157:H7 and STEC generally — remained static during the same time.”

In response, Food & Water Action senior government affairs representative Tony Corbo said, “It’s hard to believe, but our ask is simple: We just want to make sure that when someone buys ‘USDA certified’ beef or chicken, they will not contract salmonella. … Right now, the USDA stamp means next to nothing. This new rule would protect public health, which should be FSIS’s bottom line.”

Petitioners include Marler Clark LLP PS, on behalf of Rick Schiller, Steven Romes, the Porter Family, Food & Water Watch, Consumer Federation of America and Consumer Reports.

Schiller, from San Jose, Cal., developed reactive arthritis and colonic diverticulitis after becoming infected by Salmonella Heidelberg during the 2013 Foster Farms poultry outbreak. He was one of 634 reported victims of the outbreak. Romes, from Gilbert, Ariz., was one of the 400 reported victims of the 2018 JBS Tolleson beef outbreak whose Salmonella Newport infection led to a chronic illness, irritable bowel syndrome. Rose and Roger Porter Jr. are from Rainier, Wash. In 2015, Rose, Roger and their daughter Mikayla (who was 10 years old at the time) fell severely ill with Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- poisoning after consuming pork produced by Kapowsin Meats. They were three of the 192 reported victims of the outbreak.

Soybean farmers want to do more for conservation

Soybean farmers want to do more for conservation

Soybean farmers are active conservationists with a desire to do more, according to a results of a soil health and conservation study conducted through third-party surveys and focus groups in 2019 and released by the American Soybean Assn. (ASA).

“ASA is committed to helping soybean farmers bring conservation practices to their farms, and this study demonstrates their receptiveness and commitment to advancing those efforts,” said Brad Doyle, ASA secretary and member of its Conservation Committee.

In the research study conducted to assess soybean farmers’ attitudes and experiences with conservation programs and practices, 73% of farmers surveyed said they would implement more measures if they thought it would be profitable to do so.

The research also found that growers have, on average, 14 long-standing conservation practices in place, recently have added new ones and intend to implement more – despite the average grower having to pay for all conservation measures, with average expenditures totaling more than $15,000 per year. Most farmers (78%) manage rental land the same as land they own, paying conservation expenditures even on rented land, which means the positive practices farmers put in place extend to all the land they farm.

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For ASA, there is other bright news: Grower organizations and land-grant universities were identified as the most trusted sources of information for farmers.

ASA chief executive officer Ryan Findlay said, “Even with a soft agricultural economy, we have learned farmers are focused on conservation. Knowing ASA is in a key position to lead and promote implementation of additional conservation practices is great.” Connecting the pieces of the study, Findlay added, “That nearly three-quarters of farmers are open to economically feasible conservation measures means there is a world of potential for ASA, our state affiliates and other partners to aid growers with these initiatives.”

The study found that farmers trust other farmers the most, meaning that ASA networking events and educational shows like Commodity Classic, which ASA co-hosts annually, are opportune times for farmers to connect. Sharing success stories was shown to be the most appealing way to spread information.

Doyle noted, “When ASA was founded 100 years ago, our focus was on being committed to development and networking opportunities to introduce the new soybean plant. It’s great to know we can build on that legacy today by devoting even more of an effort to help farmers learn from each other when it comes to conservation practices.”

The study also found that farmers need better information – not better communications – to set up their conservation efforts for success, which is another area ASA can assist with by disseminating useful information and resources.

With support from the Walton Family Foundation, ASA conducted four focus groups and a quantitative survey among ASA members and boards in 13 states surrounding the Mississippi River Basin. Data were collected from December 2018 to July 2019. Millennium Research Inc. conducted the survey and focus groups.

U.S. beef, pork shifting toward more exports

AmyLaughinghouse_iStock_Thinkstock U.S. flag exports trade container ship port exports

Over the last three decades, a structural shift towards more exports of beef and pork has been underway. According to agriculture economist David Widmar, before the 1990s, the U.S. imported more beef and pork than it exported. Since 1990, however, net exports as a share of production has trended higher.

Prior to 1990, net exports of beef and veal were negative, with the magnitude equal to -4% to -8% of production. By 1990, Widmar said a trend towards more exports began. While net exports were still negative in the early 2000s, the magnitude (down 2% of production) was smaller. In December 2003, the U.S. confirmed a case of BSE. By 2004, net exports plummeted after the U.S. was shut out of many key export markets. After several years, however, net exports (up 3%) turned positive in 2011.

Net exports then retreated through 2015 before trending higher again in 2018, when the U.S. exported more beef and veal than imported. Widmar said trade was roughly balanced in 2019, but the USDA estimates 2020 net exports will be equal to 2% of production.

“While it can be tempting to look at the recent data and focus on net exports being positive or negative, it’s essential not to lose sight of the bigger picture,” he said. “Over the last three decades, a rapid shift towards more exports has been underway.”

Similar to beef, Widmar said pork has also seen a significant shift over the last three decades. Before 1990, the U.S. imported slightly more pork than it exported as net exports were -1% to -3% of production. After turning lower in the 1980s, Widmar said net exports have trended higher for more than 30 years. In 2019 net exports were 19% of production and the USDA estimates net exports for 2020 will to reach 22% of production, the highest in 60 years.

Regarding chicken, Widmar relayed that the USDA first started reporting U.S. chicken net exports as a share of production in 1999. Overall, he said the U.S. imports very little chicken, while net exports have been equal to 15-20% of U.S. production.

Looking ahead, Widmar said trade is at the front of everyone’s mind.

“This is especially the case as U.S. livestock producers hope for even more exports in light of China’s African Swine Flu challenges,” he added.

Arm & Hammer launches odor solution for hog operations

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Arm & Hammer has launched a new feed additive that helps manage the microbiology of manure pits to help producers alleviate these growing environmental concerns over manure storage odors from neighbors and consumers.

According to the company, feeding Certillus Eco delivers scientifically selected strains of bacteria that pass through the pigs’ digestive system directly to manure storage pits. These beneficial bacteria enhance fermentation in the storage system, breaking down the odor-causing components in the manure and improving the manure’s fertilizer value.

Pork producers work hard to manage manure by recycling nutrients and minimizing odors that naturally accompany it. Those odors can be unexpectedly expensive, as demonstrated by recent nuisance lawsuit rulings. Traditional odor control strategies include formulating highly digestible diets that limit excess nutrients, mixing additives into storage systems and covering manure storage to prevent gases from escaping.

“Certillus Eco is a more advanced way to control odors, working within existing management systems to manage the microbial populations at their source,” said Scott Druker, general manager, Arm & Hammer Animal & Food Production.

Managing manure microbiology

Most manure odors are caused by improper fermentation and bacteria imbalances in the storage system that allow the accumulation of volatile fatty acids, according to Arm & Hammer swine technical services manager Dr. Ellen Davis.

“It’s important to keep in mind that anything pigs eat and don’t digest ultimately ends up in the manure storage system,” Davis said. “That’s why it’s important to keep the microbial community in mind when adjusting diets.”

She said as rations change due to shifts in ingredient prices or nutrient needs at different growth stages, the microbiology of manure also changes. High levels of copper and zinc in the diet can kill off susceptible microorganisms as well. Such microbial changes create imbalances and fermentation problems that lead to increased odors and other issues, she added.

Davis pointed out that the beneficial bacteria in Certillus Eco maintain a proper microbial ecosystem in the manure pit, achieving a more efficient fermentation that reduces odors.

“The pigs apply the additive to the manure themselves, naturally distributing it throughout the storage system for effectiveness,” she said.

The company said its research with Certillus Eco shows that its microbiology effectively addresses odors, while also improving fertilizer value, feed efficiency and more.

A field study compared deep pit manure storage systems with and without the product in standard commercial feed rations. The pit sample analysis results from 217 barns revealed a variety of benefits to managing manure microbiology.

“Balanced microbial populations caused measurable differences in manure content,” Davis said. “For example, Certillus Eco numerically reduces odor-causing volatile fatty acids and bacteria that produce noxious gases. Those microbial changes diminish odor intensity in pig operations.”

According to the study, Certillus Eco impacts manure nutrient content in other ways that add value for pork producers, including:

  • Increasing nitrogen content, retaining it for fertilizer and allowing less nitrogen to be lost as ammonia gas. Total nitrogen content increases with this probiotic, as well as aqueous ammonia-bound nitrogen and nitrogen bound to fiber.
  • Reducing solids in the manure by increasing digestibility in pigs and supporting microbes that break them down in storage. Study samples show average decreases in both dry matter content and crude fiber.
  • Cutting manure viscosity nearly in half. Manure flows more easily, supporting easier pumping, handling and application as fertilizer.

To effectively manage manure microbiology, the recommended feeding rate is about 0.5 lb. per ton of feed for sows, nurseries and grow-finish pigs. Pork producers should consult with their nutritionists to determine optimum feeding rates for their operations.

Review suggests 're-thinking' of dietary energy values for poultry

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Dietary energy available to animals is key for ration formulation as it is required for all aspects of the animal's life, and in poultry nutrition, metabolizable energy values are commonly used although the accuracy of those values has been questioned, according to Shu-Biao Wu and Mingan Choct with the School of Environmental & Rural Science at the University of New England in Australia and Gene Pesti with the department of poultry science at The University of Georgia in an open-access article published in a recent edition of the journal Poultry Science.

In poultry, apparent (AME) and true metabolizable energy values have been used for feed formulation with (e.g., AMEn) or without correction for nitrogen balance.

Wu et al. noted that the comparability of data produced using different metabolizable energy bioassay systems is often questionable. Overall, the ingredient matrix metabolizable energy values used in feed formulation are not consistent, and to some extent, confusing, they said.

They conducted a review to examine "data published in the past century to elucidate the accuracy of different bioassay systems and examine the values for accuracy and useability."

According to Wu et al., they identified a variety of flaws in the literature, suggesting a need for a "thorough re-thinking" of feedstuff metabolizable energy values currently used in poultry feed formulation as well as for developing prediction equations.

Wu et al. suggested two protocols — namely multiple linear regression and basal diet substitution methods — as more accurate bioassays for feedstuff metabolizable energy values.

AME aligns more closely with the actual energy levels of feed ingredients likely available to growing birds, which should be used for poultry feed formulations instead of AMEn, Wu et al. explained. They suggested that nutritionists need to carefully apply any reported AME values and only use those in formulation practice after careful scrutiny.

Any in vitro, near-infrared or table values for metabolizable energy must be calibrated or computed based on the values produced from flawless bioassays so as to apply the derived values accurately, Wu et al. added.

However, they suggested that the flaws identified in their literature review can be avoided in order to achieve more accurate AME values.

Nevertheless, Wu et al. concluded that the assumption that the energy of individual ingredients is additive in a complete diet is still untrue at least under some circumstances. They suggested that this may require efforts from industry and researchers to investigate relations among the main ingredients in a complete diet so that more accurate formulation can be performed based on the outcomes that may fine-tune the additivity assumption.

Califia Farms secures $225m for plant-based beverages

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Califia Farms, a leading plant-based food and beverage company, recently announced it has completed one of the largest private capital raisings within the natural foods sector, through a $225 million Series D financing led by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).  Other investors in the financing include Singapore headquartered investment company Temasek, Canada based Claridge, Hong Kong based Green Monday Ventures, and a Latin America based family with significant interests in coffee and consumer products.

As demand for plant-based beverages is growing worldwide, Califia will use the latest funding to build on the success of its oat platform as well as to launch other lines. Proceeds will also allow Califia to further invest in increased production capacity, substantial R&D, deeper U.S. penetration, and continued global expansion.

Inspired by the legendary Queen Califia, namesake of the state of California, Califia Farms was founded in 2010 and has become one of the fastest-growing natural food and beverage companies of scale in the U.S. and select international markets. Califia’s mission is to discover and share 'what plants can do' to help people transform their health and adopt a lower carbon 'foodprint'.

Califia said it is looking forward to working with a more global investor base, as the company continues to grow and fulfill its mission.

"The more than $1 trillion global dairy and ready-to-drink coffee industry is ripe for continued disruption, with individuals all over the world seeking to transform their health & wellness through the adoption of minimally processed and nutrient rich foods that are better for both the planet and the animals," said Greg Steltenpohl, Califia's founder and chief executive officer. "Califia's role is to help plant the future."

He continued, "Speed to market is critical for companies at our stage, and we are thrilled that our new partners share our vision to be the leading independent brand in the plant-based sector. Each of our partners brings significant resources and global expertise to accelerate our next stage of our growth.”

USDA proposed school lunch changes get mixed reviews

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USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue participates with the school lunch, and holds a roundtable discussion with school nutrition professionals at North East Independent School District’s Castle Hill Elementary, in San Antonio, Texas, on Jan 17, 2020.

Touted as a way to put local school and summer food service operators “back in the driver’s seat of their programs” and offer school nutrition professions more flexibility to appeal to students’ preference and reduce food waste, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced additional proposed rule changes to its school and summer meal programs.

“Schools and school districts continue to tell us that there is still too much food waste and that more common-sense flexibility is needed to provide students nutritious and appetizing meals. We listened and now we’re getting to work,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

In a statement, USDA shared the school meals proposed rule would continue to ensure children receive wholesome, tasty meals that provide the nutrition they need to grow and thrive, while offering increased flexibilities for local school districts to serve children food they will want to eat, by:

  • Allowing local schools to offer more vegetable varieties, while keeping plenty of veggies in each meal;
  • Making it easier for schools to offer school lunch entrees for a la carte purchase, thereby reducing food waste;
  • Providing schools options to customize meal patterns to best serve children in different grades or smaller schools who eat together; 
  • Supporting a more customized school breakfast environment by letting schools adjust fruit servings and making it simpler to offer meats/meat alternates, ultimately encouraging breakfast options outside the cafeteria so students can start their day with a healthy breakfast; and
  • Shifting to a performance-focused administrative review process that is less burdensome and time consuming, which would increase collaboration with operators to improve program integrity.

During a roundtable featuring leaders of the School Nutrition Assn. (SNA), Perdue announced the regulations on Jan. 17.

“SNA is eager to review the proposed changes, discuss them with our members and share their feedback with USDA,” said SNA president Gay Anderson. “We are grateful for USDA’s ongoing dialogue with school nutrition professionals and desire to ensure school meal programs operate smoothly to benefit students.”

However, the American Heart Assn. (AMA) said it is “adamantly opposed” to the rule and said it was concerned about several aspects of the proposal. Specifically, the proposal allows for the reducing the amount of fruit required at breakfast for meals served outside the cafeteria. Schools could now provide as little as a half cup of fruit, a 50% reduction from current requirements, AMA said. It also removes the requirement that schools serve grains at breakfast and schools could meet the standards by serving meat and a no-grain product.

AMA also shared concerns in changing the vegetable subgroup requirements so that schools are no longer required to serve as many red and orange vegetables and legumes. “Instead, schools could serve more potatoes and other starchy, often fried, vegetables,” AMA said.

Changes to the a-la-carte also pose issues, AMA said. “While entrees and side dishes sold as part of the reimbursable meal are required to meet the school meal nutrition standards, these standards are averaged across the weekly menu. This gives schools the flexibility to occasionally serve a food that does not meet nutrition standards on its own but is balanced by healthier sides. If these foods are allowed to be sold more frequently in a-la-carte, there is no requirement that children select a balanced meal. Children could, for example, purchase three slices of pizza in the a-la-carte line instead of purchasing a nutritionally balanced, reimbursable lunch that contains a slice of pizza, salad, and fruit,” AMA said.

“While the USDA claims these changes are necessary to mitigate food waste, studies show that food waste has either remained the same or decreased since the updated school nutrition standards. There are several other effective strategies to reduce food waste in schools, such as giving students more time to eat; putting recess before lunch; marketing healthy foods to kids; and involving students in meal planning, none of which jeopardizes the health of our children,” AMA said.

USDA also proposed another rule with customer-focused reforms to the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which serves more than 2.6 million children during the summer months, when they are at higher risk of food insecurity and poor nutrition because they do not have access to school meals. The summer feeding rule offers operators more local control to better serve children by: 

  • Providing more flexibilities in choosing meal offerings, meal service times, and allowing children to take certain nonperishable food items offsite;
  • Granting tested and proven flexibilities that make it easier for sponsors and sites to participate by reducing paperwork and streamlining the application process for high-performing, experienced operators;
  • Balancing program integrity and flexibility with stronger monitoring to help sponsors maximize their resources; and
  • Clarifying performance standards and eligibility requirements for sites.


Trump promises third installment of trade aid

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The third installment of the Market Facilitation Program 2.0 will be issued in short order, according to comments made by President Donald Trump and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue while speaking at the American Farm Bureau Federation meeting Jan. 19 and 20 in Austin, Texas. However, due to the market rebound expected from the recently signed trade agreement with China, MFP 3.0 in 2020 is unlikely.

“I am delighted to report that the final installment of all of those billions of dollars of that money will be coming very quickly,” Trump said to the thousands of famers gathered to hear him speak for the third consecutive year at the farm bureau’s annual meeting.

Trump said for years, “China stole trade secrets from American agri-businesses, and plundered our intellectual property, illicitly subsidized grain procedures, and installed one barrier after another to block out our farmers and to block out our ranchers.

“To defend our farmers, I authorized $28 billion dollars,” Trump said, adding that he asked Perdue the level of lost exports from China and explained the $16 billion in 2019 and $12 billion in 2018 was meant to make up for those lost sales. Trump also added there’s a formula on how to offer the aid and it’s not just for big farmers, but for everybody.

“Then I gave you a lot of the money, out of the tariffs.  We had a lot of money left over, but we gave you — Sonny told you — $16 billion, and $12 billion the year before.  And that made you do very well,” Trump said in his speech.

While speaking during a press conference the following day, Perdue shared the third tranche of MFP payments are “imminent” and he hopes it is sooner rather than later but was unable to give a definitive date.  

The second round of MFP, as of Jan. 6, 2020, has provided nearly $11 billion in support. The top states receiving support from the second round of MFP payments include Iowa at $1.2 billion, Illinois at $1.1 billion and Texas at $812 million.

For livestock and specialty crops, this final tranche represents 25% of the MFP payments. For non-specialty crops and based on the county-level payment rates and the method by which the first two tranche payments were made, it’s estimated that $3 to $3.5 billion in support remains available.

John Newton, chief economist at AFBF, said in a recent market report that the county-level payment rates would range from 75 cents per acre to $37.50 per acre, with some counties already exhausting their MFP eligibility through the first two tranche payments, i.e., any counties with an original MFP payment rate of $20 or less. “If the payments were made, a majority of the tranche 3 payments would be distributed to farmers along the Mississippi and across the Corn and Cotton belts.”

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Newton added the final round of MFP payments would address some farmers’ and ranchers’ financial uncertainty and would provide some assurance to many farmers and their lenders in advance of spring planting.

Perdue added that the payments are designed to replace trade lost due to the trade retaliations. “We’re hoping and expecting that trade to develop soon enough that a Market Facilitation Program will not be needed” in 2020. It is expected that trade won’t start right away under the $40 to $50 billion agreement with China, but Perdue added it is expected to build or crescendo with relief hopefully coming this summer or fall in increased agricultural purchases by China.  

Perdue was confident China would abide by its agreement to purchase the $40 to $50 billion in agricultural purchases, and said he expects they’ll have to buy earlier than the traditional export season across all sectors. He said the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be providing facts on purchases to the U.S. Trade Representative’s office in order to enforce that agreement on ag purchases. The agreement is enforceable and if China fails to purchase the total of $80 billion at the end of 2021, the United States can unilaterally reinstall punitive tariffs that cannot be retaliated against.


National Pork Board undergoes first major restructuring in 20 years

National Pork Board A new publication details the dose necessary to transmit the disease when pigs ingest virus-contaminated feed or liquid.

The National Pork Board has announced senior leadership changes to better implement a new Pork Checkoff vision, structure and operating plan supported by its board of directors – the first major restructuring in nearly 20 years.

The new plan was developed with grassroots input from across the industry, including more than 1,000 pork producers, and focuses on two overarching goals, to build trust and to add value. To deliver on these goals and the expectations of pork industry leaders for nimbleness and forward-thinking, the NPB has restructured staff teams and elevated high performers to lead them.

"We have our marching orders – to move at the speed of business and to be consumer-focused, producer-led. That is how we will keep pork relevant and competitive," says Bill Even, NPB CEO. "These changes align highly capable leaders and staff with the work that must be done, such as making continuous improvement through We Care and protecting swine health from foreign animal disease."

Highlights of the changes include:

  • Jerry Flint, who has served as vice president of outreach and engagement for the NPB since August 2019, is assuming the role of chief operations officer. Prior to joining the Pork Board, Flint held leadership roles at Corteva Agriscience and Monsanto. The respected agriculture leader will apply his ability to motivate teams and drive accountability in Pork Board operations.
  • John Johnson is transitioning to consultant status as of Feb. 14 after more than 10 years serving the NPB as vice president of strategic administration and as chief operations officer. In his new capacity, Johnson will conduct outreach in the northeast about pork farmers' commitment to the We Care ethical principles.
  • Jarrod Sutton, the previous vice president of domestic marketing, is now senior vice president of strategy and innovation. The 20-year Pork Board veteran has served the industry in retail marketing, channel marketing and social responsibility roles. In his new position, Sutton's team will help the Pork Board rise to the challenge of being more future-focused, insight-driven and responsive to customers.
  • Angie Krieger has been promoted to vice president of domestic marketing after nearly three years with the NPB in packer relations and channel outreach roles. Krieger joined the Pork Board from JBS and had previously spent 14 years at Cargill. As a result, she is very in tune with the supply chain and is passionate about leading her team to add value for pork producers.
  • Brett Kaysen, is the new vice president of sustainability. Kaysen joined the NPB nearly two years ago from Zoetis. As a pig farmer who also spent more than 16 years teaching at Colorado State University, Kaysen is uniquely qualified to lead his team of experts in public health, environment and animal welfare to ensure broad adoption of the We Care ethical principles.
  • Dave Pyburn, DVM, as the NPB's chief veterinarian, will lead a team of veterinarians and swine production experts. Pyburn rejoined the Pork Board in 2013 after 13 years as the senior veterinary medical officer at USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. This new focus will allow Pyburn to leverage his experience and relationships to help protect the U.S. pork industry from foreign animal disease.
  • Jill Criss is now senior vice president of human resources and administration. Criss has provided human resources/operations services and leadership to the NPB for more than 16 years. Criss will be on the front lines of hiring and training the high-quality talent needed to implement the new strategic plan as well as ensuring internal administrative processes are streamlined for success.

"In short, we're ready and excited to be starting 2020 and the new decade with a new vision, a few clear priorities and the resources – people, budget and organizational structure – to accomplish them," Even says.

Source: National Pork Board, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.