Company News: Iowa Pork Producers, Alltech and Animal Ag Alliance

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Pass the Pork Success Leads to Phase II of Program in Iowa

The Pass the Pork program which enabled Iowa pig farmers to help bring nearly 200,000 servings of pork to food-insecure Iowans is entering a new phase. The initial program secured 451 donated pigs and funds to pay for processing at local meat lockers. Now, it will switch processing to Iowa State University (ISU) Meat Laboratory. The money for processing will come from the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, according to a release from the Iowa Pork Producers Association.

When the program began in April, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) partnered with the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA), local meat lockers, and the Iowa Food Bank Association (IFBA) to address two problems created by the novel coronavirus: pigs on farms that couldn't move into their typical marketing channels and an increasing need at food banks working to support unemployed Iowans. 

Unfortunately, those two situations still exist, the release states.

"We know that producers are going through an extremely challenging time and we are pursuing every option to help," said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, in the release. "We worked with Gov. Kim Reynolds to secure CARES Act funds to cover processing costs for the Pass the Pork program. This is just one way the state is supporting producers while providing locally-grown protein for hungry Iowans."

The first phase of Pass the Pork raised $115,000 to process 50,000 pounds of pork, which IFBA has distributed to all six regional food banks serving Iowa. 

"Although we have had challenges on the farm, we also see our friends and neighbors struggling with jobs and wondering how they will put food on the table, too. By moving into Phase II of Pass the Pork, we can continue to bring pork to our local communities when they need it most," said Mike Paustian, the Walcott farmer who is IPPA president, in the release.

In Phase II, pigs will be delivered to ISU's Meat Lab for processing, beginning in mid- August and continuing through early November. IPPA will coordinate the delivery of pigs.

The ISU Meat Lab is also working to process Iowa beef, which goes to Iowa food banks, too. Both the pork and beef efforts are part of Gov. Reynolds' Feeding Iowans Task Force led by Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg.

Farmers interested in donating pigs to this second phase of Pass the Pork should contact Emma Lasco at IPPA at 515-225-7675.

Alltech Releases 2020 Sustainability Report

On the one-year anniversary of committing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations Global Compact and the Science Based Targets initiative, Alltech has released its 2020 Sustainability Report, according to a company release.

In addition to reflecting Alltech’s vision for a Planet of PlentyTM, the submission reaffirms the company’s alignment with a growing global network of organizations around the world that are united by their mission to build a more sustainable future.

“As a global company spanning the entire food supply chain, we are uniquely positioned to have a positive impact on a diverse range of sectors,” said Dr. Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech, in the release. “The Global Compact has helped give direction, value, and alignment to existing projects and inspiration for new ones. The pages of this report reflect our call to customers and partners to join us in a collaborative effort to adopt new technologies, improve business practices and embrace innovation in order to create a world of abundance.”

As part of its pledge which was signed on July 12, 2019, Alltech is focusing on nine of the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that it felt it could have the greatest impact due to their alignment with its core business. These include zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, climate action, life below the water, life on land and partnership for the goals, the release says.

The 2020 Sustainability Report outlines the key efforts that impact these chosen SDGs, including product validation by the Carbon Trust, education initiatives, support for women in agriculture, and applying 40 years of research in animal nutrition to advance human health.

The report also reaffirms its’ commitment to the U.N. Global Compact (UNGC). The UNGC provides organizations with a value system and principle-based approach to conducting business. Alltech strives to operate in a way that meets fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption. The company continues to incorporate the Ten Principles of the U.N. Global Compact into its strategies, policies and procedures, the release says.

Alltech is also committed to the Science Based Targets initiative, which is designed to help companies reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and share their progress through transparent documentation and reporting. Alltech has initiated data collection for the first year, then goals will be set to benchmark its work to lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce energy and water consumption.

Click here to read the Alltech 2020 Sustainability Report in full.

Animal Agriculture Alliance launches Animal Ag Allies Development Program

The Animal Agriculture Alliance has launched the Animal Ag Allies program to empower farmers, ranchers and practicing veterinarians to be outspoken advocates for agriculture online and within their communities. The Alliance is currently seeking participants to enroll by August 7, according to an alliance release.

The program provides opportunities for networking, training, and continuous development of issue expertise and communication skills. Allies will be on the front lines of responding to emerging issues and sharing positive content about animal agriculture, the group says.

“The Animal Ag Allies program was created to connect agriculture advocates and arm them with the issue expertise and communications skills they need to engage with influencers and consumers online and in their communities,” said Hannah Thompson-Weeman, Alliance vice president of communications, in the release. “Our goal for this program is to make sure the voices of farmers, ranchers and veterinarians are being heard when it comes to important issues related to animal agriculture.”

The program features two phases: online training and a private forum to discuss engagement strategies and emerging issues. The training modules are available online and can be completed at the participant’s own pace.

Modules include: overviews of each sector of animal agriculture, hot topics and emerging issues facing animal agriculture, how to address contentious issues, growing your social following and reaching outside the choir, and public outreach. Following the completion of the training modules, participants will be invited to a private online group where they will have the ability to interact with one another as well as industry professionals.

Farmers, ranchers, practicing veterinarians, and industry professionals who want to make a difference in public understanding and perception of animal agriculture are encouraged to indicate their interest in enrolling in the program. The ideal participant has already demonstrated their commitment to engaging on relevant issues and is ready to take their efforts to the next level. The deadline is August 7.

For more information on the program and participant guidelines, visit