Sustainability has become the buzz word outside of the world of ag, but being sustainable in agriculture, particularly in pork production, has been evident for generations. National Pork Board’s Assistant Vice President of Sustainability Ashley McDonald says sustainability is the core of the industry’s We Care® Ethical Principles.
“The industry is committing to making continuous improvement efforts and I think that really distinguishes the pork industry from other industries and the fact that you know, we’re really putting some solid goals down, solid metrics, and then putting the tools in place to really be able to report back against this.”
National Pork Board member and Minnesota pork producer Dale Stevermer says having the On Farm Sustainability Report shows the work they have done to improve the industry.
“I kind of set the goal for myself to, okay, let’s see where we are for the next three, four or five years. And then, see what else could be there, or maybe start experimenting a little bit, see how much further I can push, whether it’s more carbon being locked in the soil, improve my yield, but more along the same lines, improve/reduce my impact on the environment.”
McDonald says there is value individually to the producer, but on the national level, the industry can turn the third-party verified, on-farm data into a narrative. For example, the 50,000 tons of soil saved.
“We can also translate that into how many dump trucks that is, right, of soil that isn’t going into the waterways, whether we’re here in the state of Iowa or Minnesota or down to the Gulf of Mexico. And I think consumers can really relate to that and understand and have a confidence in the pork industry.”
Visit porkcheckoff.org to learn more about the industry’s sustainability commitments.