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.
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.
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.
Trans-Pacific Partnership, Pork & Pork Products - Ambassador Darci Vetter, Chief Agriculture Negotiator, Office of the United States Trade Representative, from the 2015 Pork Industry Forum, March 5-7, 2015, San Antonio, TX, USA.
Know Your Heat, Know Your Meat Top Barbecuer Elliot Mellow, BBQ ASAP (as in As Smoked As Possible) shares his tips from being a competition barbecuer since 2006. Elliot helps people understand the differences between barbecue and grilling. His tips will help the outcome be great food for you. Key to barbecue and grilling is the kind of meat being used. Elliot also shares information on the types and kinds of equipment and techniques that can be used. Elliot's preferences is to use a technique that is not only a heat source but can add flavor; charcoal with a combination of wood chunks or chips over the top.