Watch Out, Technology Ahead Dr. Lowell Catlett, Professor of Agriculture Economics and Agriculture Business at New Mexico State University, shares some insights on the business of agriculture and specifically the protein changes consumers demand. Dr. Catlett offers a witty, and often rhetorical look at society at large and what people in agriculture need to keep in mind when developing products or talking with non-farming consumers [video][audio].
Focus On Staying Viable Ambassador Darci Vetter, Chief Agriculture Negotiator, Office of the United States Trade Representative, provides perspective on the recent trade conversations around the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Ambassador Vetter outlines the issues and challenges of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and why it is important to the USA. With 40% of the global economy represented, this trade agreement represents an opportunity to expanding markets and leveling the playing field for US agriculture. Ambassador Vetter closes with what the next steps are for the TPP. "We won’t accept a deal for the sake of a deal, for us, the substance is what drives the timeline." says Ambassador Vetter.
National Disease Response Plan Dr. Liz Wagstrom, Chief Veterinarian, National Pork Producers Council, provides an update on the pork emerging diseases response plan. Dr. Wagstrom shares information on the projects others are also doing and how they tie together. One of the key areas of improvement resulting from the outbreak of PEDv was communication consistency and protocol. Dr. Wagstrom also highlights the risk assessments completed, the swine disease matrix development, and the "strengthening the boarders" project.
Preparation Always Forefront Dr. Paul Sundberg, Science & Technology, National Pork Board, shares thoughts on the state of preparedness of pork operations for animal diseases, like porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv). While the mystery of how PEDv came into the USA is still unknown, discovery of PEDV has created the opportunity to implement and improve communication, coordination, and collaboration. Dr. Sundberg outlines the value of the Swine Health Information Center and the Center's next steps.
Aligning With Partners Sherrie Webb, Director Animal Welfare, National Pork Board, addresses the Pork Industry Forum producers about the Common Industry Audit. Ms. Webb provides a history on what issues and needs drove the Common Industry Audit creation. Ms. Webb highlights the program elements and the role of the Industry Audit Task Force in the implementation of the processes. Take aways: Audit tools are available for all to use and training is available. Additionally, audits are part of a comprehensive approach to having a quality industry.