The pork industry is not unfamiliar with challenges, Gregg Hora, Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) president, told members at the IPPA Annual Meeting on Tuesday.
“A lot of us have the opportunities and privileges to speak up and speak out about the pork industry and what we think is important. Whether you are a pig farmer or a pork producer, you define who you are and should be proud of who you are,” Hora said.
Hora stressed the importance of pork producers’ role of providing a good product for their neighbors and consumers in the U.S. and around the world.
In his closing remarks, Hora provided a few words of wisdom from his experiences leading the largest state pork producer organization in the country.
Tell Your Story
Hora encouraged Iowa pork producers to invite influencers, media and neighbors to their farm to help promote the good production practices of pig farmers.
“Think of yourself as a ‘triple threat’ in our industry,” Hora said, referring to the popular basketball position. “Instead of being ready to pass, dribble or shoot, we need to be ready to deal with challenges, seek opportunities and achieve successful outcomes.”
He challenged delegates to get involved at the county level with one more project or social interaction with media to get the message out there.
“Each of you are advocates and have a story to tell,” he said. “Go tell it. Use those We Care(SM) principles when you tell your story. Teach the world how those principles guide what we do every day.”
Keep the Best in Iowa
Hora is passionate about finding ways to keep Iowa’s brightest talents in Iowa – especially in the field of animal and plant science.
Nearly 500 students will venture to Des Moines on Thursday for the Iowa Pork Congress Swine Judging Contest sponsored by IPPA. Hora described how IPPA is creating opportunities like this one to showcase the swine industry to young people.
In addition to activities for youth at the Iowa Pork Congress, IPPA and county pork producer groups offer many scholarships and organize quiz bowls, cooking competitions and more.
Solve Issues Together
The pork industry has its share of challenges, like many industries, Hora said. He called out lab-produced cultured proteins, foreign animal disease preparedness and legislation as just a few of the challenges IPPA has been tackling as an organization.
“We’re about growing healthier pigs for healthier food for healthier people,” Hora said. “That’s what food science and technology do to help us improve the pork industry.”
IPPA works closely with other organizations from the Iowa Coalition for Farmers to the National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council to tackle issues collaboratively.
“We all need to seek solutions to the challenges we currently have so we can continue to achieve success and be that triple-threat player on our farms and for our industry,” he said.