Issues in the pork industry are flying like fireworks on the 4th of July. At the top of the discussion list these days seems to be the use of gestation stalls, following announcements by McDonald's, Burger King, and other foodservice chains. Another spark is added by continued efforts of animal rights group the Humane Society for the United States, including recent video releases and their agreement with United Egg Producers to set the size of cages for laying hens.
To allow Wisconsin pork producers an opportunity to learn more about this topic, and what may very well be the next on-farm production practice targeted, producers are invited to a symposium on June 13 at Sam and Maddies Restaurant and Pub, 3656 State Road 23, Dodgeville. The program will run from 9:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. There is no charge to attend, but you are asked to R.S.V.P. to ensure accurate meal counts by calling WPA at 1-800-822-7675, or e-mailing email@example.com.
As a pork producer with a vested interest in the future of the industry, this is your chance to voice your opinion and help set the stage for on-going discussions for Wisconsin on these issues. The general program plans are below, more specifics can be found on the WPA website - www.wppa.org.
Keynote speaker for the event will be Dr. Wes Jamison, an associate professor of communication at Palm Beach Atlantic University, where he teaches public relations, persuasion, political communication and communication theory. He is president of Cornerstone Public Relations LLC., where he conducts research in the US and Europe on public relations, communication, and animal rights. Jamison will discuss with the group what issues he anticipates will be next on the radar screen for animal rights and agriculture, as well as share the implications that Europe is facing with increased animal welfare standards in that country. The National Pork Producers Council, through producer investment in the Strategic Investment Program, is sponsoring this portion of the program.
Brandon Scholz, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Grocer's Association, will discuss trends in the grocery industry and how they can affect farmers.
Production Issues Panel – Two pork producers of will share their experiences and the economics of gestation stalls. In addition, Dr. Paul Sundberg from the National Pork Board will talk about the science and research that has been conducted on sow housing. Finally, Dr. Kurt Vogel, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls who studied under Temple Grandin, will address animal care perceptions and trends.
A livestock processor has been invited to discuss potential market access issues for pork producers who do not adapt their buildings to group housing for gestating sows. Finally, a representative from the National Pork Producers Council will review the legislative challenges this subject is likely to face, as well as the packer/processor perspective. The program will conclude with discussion time from participants.
This program is being sponsored by the Pork Checkoff, Wisconsin Pork Association, and the National Pork Producers Council.
Source: Wisconsin Pork Association