Kevin Rasmussen is the new president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association.  Rasmussen is a pig farmer, finishing 8,000 head of hog a year in Humboldt County. I spoke with him during the Iowa Pork Congress about what hog producers around Iowa can expect this coming year.

Some of our key focuses for the coming year is to help ensure that the National Pork Board, National Pork Council, and the state associations are really working together closely and in their goals are well defined and our producers feel like their investment in these associations is well worth their time and their money.

Another thing we really need to focus on this year is foreign animal disease preparedness. That was kind of the number one issue that came forward out of the membership survey that we did at the Iowa Pork Producers Association. So, the Swine Health SHIP, the Swine Health Improvement Project was the resolution that was passed yesterday at our annual meeting; to fund that. And there's a lot of pieces to ship, but one of the key things is- the first thing you need to do is make sure you're on Premise IDs are current up with to date with the proper name and phone numbers of the caretakers, pig owners and property owners all this information's going to be key in the face of a foreign animal disease outbreak.

At meetings like Pork Congress, producers are able to discuss resolutions they want to see on both a state and national level.

So that swine health improvement projects that were directed directly at the State Association.

We also passed two resolutions involving the check-off rate and SIP rate- so the voluntary check-off. Those will be taken to are our national annual meeting which we call Pork Forum, that's in Louisville Kentucky this year. We will take those there and communicate with the rest of the states that are involved in our national organization and will come up with a unified message in a unified plan on how to move forward from there.

These resolutions are meant to line up and help combat those challenges seen by pork producers in Iowa.

Market access is huge we hear that a lot. Really the main thing we've been working on the last year, year and a half or two years is foreign animal disease preparedness. And I can't stress that enough.

We need to be when you keep our records right and be prepared for it when that happens- we can get the information that there are state veterinarians needs we can get it to him quickly as possible so that we can get back to our export markets and get back to business as usual.


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