With the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pork Checkoff is fully committed to being a resource for producers, consumers and the supply chain. There are also over 40 state pork associations across the United States and the Pork Checkoff is working closely with them to provide localized assistance and information. National Pork Board CEO Bill Even says a new farm crisis planning tool is also available on the Pork Checkoff website.
“We work together with the National Pork Producers Council, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, and the Swine Health Information Center to pull this together. You can find this at Pork.org. And, the bottom line for the production side is recognizing that your normal crisis plan might look a little different when you’re dealing with, perhaps, supply shortages, or other disruptions in transportation and the like. So, this tool helps producers sit down and take a good hard look at resources and supplies, feed and water, farm supply inventory, and caretaker/personnel availability, the labor issue, and buildings and facilities. And, we really encourage producers out there to go to Pork.org and the COVID-19 landing page, take a look at this and print it off. It’s better to do a little planning right now and have your situation well in-hand should something pop up in the coming weeks.”
The Department of Homeland Security has identified agriculture and food production as a critical industry. With farms, feed mills, packing plants or grocery stores, there is a responsibility to keep the food industry operating during this COVID-19 response.
“One of the things that has come up is different states have put in place stay at home orders. It’s important that the workforce, farmers, or people going to the packing plants, have permission to travel. So, on Pork.org, we worked together with the North American Meat Institute, to put together a document that is essentially a template letter. A producer can print this off, put some information on it and make sure all their employees have it on their person or in their vehicle as they are traveling to and from work as part of the U.S. critical infrastructure.”
The Pork Checkoff has also responded to meet the needs of consumers. Even says that means having messaging for consumers who will be eating at home.
“You’ve seen that they’ve gone out and stocked up on meat and pork and other groceries. And now they are home, perhaps with their children, they’re schools have been dismissed, and they’re trying to figure out how they enjoy pork. So, recipes and simple videos are what we’ve been offering. So we have videos ads on our YouTube account have generated nearly seven million impressions and 1.5 million views just in this past week. The pork ads are really focused on those easy recipes, simple meal solutions where you could maybe cook once and eat twice. And we are also working close with Google and YouTube to put together some brand new content with our YouTube content creators.”
On Friday, one of the Pork Checkoff pork cooking videos was trending in the Top 25 for YouTube.
For more information, producers can contact the Pork Checkoff Service Center. Go to Pork.org or call 800-456-PORK.