June 2012 Swine Line Newsletter

Temperatures rise as animal welfare issues ignite fiery debates in the most unlikely places. Also rising with the mercury is the opportunity to tell our story to households across the Midwest as pork producers meet consumers at dozens of summertime events.

In this first-ever Swine Line e-newsletter, you’ll read about the prominence of U.S. pork producers in the world market, about the caring hearts who work for you every day in the Pipestone System, and about how one family is passing the baton to the next generation.

Summer’s on the way and with a lot of energy in our industry, in our system, and on our shareholders farms.

THE HOUSING DEBATE
What’s the best housing for sows—group pens or individual gestation stalls? Fanned into flame by animal rights organizations, the answer to this question is a burning topic of discussion in state capitols, Washington, D.C., and multi-national food corporation boardrooms. This debate, however, has taken place largely without input from the farmers who are responsible for pig care and who bring affordable, high-quality pork to the marketplace. Read what the National Pork Producers Council and your Minnesota Pork Producers Association is doing to get your story out.

OINK OUTINGS TELL YOUR STORY
Last year the Minnesota Pork Board invested Pork Checkoff funding into an initiative that communicates your story to consumers whose preferences drive retail and food service companies’ pork purchasing and distribution decisions. We’re entering a new phase of our Oink Outings, which recently won a national agricultural marketing award.  Read about these Oink Outings and how they open up conversations between pork producers, Minnesota moms, and consumers.

U.S. WELL-POSITIONED FOR EXPORT GROWTH
“The U.S. is best positioned to meet the expectations of foreign buyers,” says David Preisler, executive director of the Minnesota Pork Producers Association, who notes that our country has moved from a net importer in 1995 to exporting 30% of its domestic pork production today. Read how we gained this most favorable position and what it will take to keep us there.

WHAT GOOD CAN YOU DO WITH $50?
Every year, Pipestone System gives $50 seed money to employees at each location and encourages them to commit “Random Acts of Kindness.” See what creative employees did in 2012 to multiply their money and do good in their communities.

MIT GIVES MANAGERS STAYING POWER
Our Management in Training (MIT) course covers all aspects of barn management, helps trainees form support networks to tackle problems, and results in managers succeeding and staying with the Pipestone System long-term. Read about this amazing course.

GRILL MASTER PUSHES PORK AND PUBLIC POLICY
Terry Wolters fills many roles for the Pipestone System. Two of the most interesting (and perhaps most crucial) are his roles as system liaison to the Minnesota Pork Producers Association and grill master at public events. From the Halls of Congress to the Concourses of Target Field, Terry advocates for and promotes pork.

SYSTEM AIDS OWNERSHIP TRANSFER
Bringing sons Mike and Matt into the family business is the near and long-term objective of Greg and Paula Boerboom of Marshall, MN. Part of their strategy for reaching this objective involves a new feed mill and access to more baby pigs. The Pipestone System has been and will continue to be an important mentor and partner in the Boerboom’s swine enterprise. Read the full story.