Iowa takes center stage for 'inspiring' new pork branding campaign -
The bright blue pork logo that travelers on I-80/35 may have noticed towering above the National Pork Board headquarters in West Des Moines over the years now has a new look and message.
The new pork slogan and logo design," Pork - Be Inspired," launched this month, will be a reminder of the work done by the National Pork Board to promote pork products, and will remind Iowans of the importance of the pork industry to the economy of the state.
An unveiling ceremony featured comments from Iowa Pork Producers Association President Leon Sheets; Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey; National Pork Board CEO Chris Novak; and National Pork Board Marketing Vice President Ceci Snyder.
"In a time when jobs and economies are suffering, Iowa holds the distinction of being the top producer of pork in the U.S. and that means a lot to our economy," says Sheets. "The pork industry in Iowa supports nearly 40,000 jobs and is a major contributor to rural economies. Pork production alone contributes nearly $5 billion to the Iowa economy each year, not including the several billion dollars generated by pork processing activities."
The U.S. has been a net exporter of pork products since 1995, with Iowa leading the way. For nearly 20 years, Iowa has been the leader in the international pork product export market, with a record $1.1 billion in pork products exported to foreign markets in 2010. Japan is the top international market for Iowa pork products, followed by Mexico and Canada.
Iowans have traditionally embraced pork as a flavorful, nutritious, affordable protein choice for their families and the new brand encourages current pork consumers across the country to expand their thinking about all the ways pork can be enjoyed.
"The new brand focuses on reaching creative, flavor-seeking home cooks who already prepare, eat and love pork, the new branding position celebrating pork's ability to offer a wide range of options in the kitchen," says Snyder. The "Pork Be Inspired" brand shows pork's place in almost any menu, cuisine and lifestyle, based on pork's unique combination of flavor and versatility as the source of kitchen inspiration."
The new, fully integrated campaign features an updated look and feel, along with a new consumer target: the more than 82 million Americans who already cook, eat and love pork. Moving from a functional to a more emotional positioning, the campaign voice is proud, energetic, approachable and unapologetically optimistic about the unique attributes of the world's most popular protein.
"Our research shows that pork's top consumers are looking for more than basic education; they're looking for inspiration," Snyder adds. "While our new target represents our biggest fans, we believe they have the potential and desire to enjoy pork more often -- and to inspire others to do the same."
The new campaign rolls out this March and April, and includes national advertising, public relations, social media, retail and foodservice marketing, as well as activation by state pork associations. Enthusiastic about this renewed approach, 2011 advertising media spending has more than doubled that of recent years. All elements will showcase inspiring new ways to enjoy pork more frequently, with a range of meal and menu options.
Nearly 25 years ago, the "Pork The Other White Meat"campaign was conceived to reposition pork as a healthful protein source. Today, "Pork Be Inspired" goes beyond basic cooking education and health to promote a deeper, more personal level of engagement with existing pork consumers. Although it will no longer be featured in advertising, The Other White Meat campaign will play a role as a heritage brand, with use on the consumer web site and in nutrition communications.
Jensen sees changes in farm insurance -
For most of us "city folk" who are not business owners, insurance means coverage for our homes, health, life and vehicle. For those involved in a farming operation, however, there are several other important items which require insurance - items which are essential to their business. One of these items, of course, is the expensive farm machinery and equipment needed to enable the farmer to do his or her work, and another area of farm insurance is the insuring of the crop(s) in which they have invested a great deal of money, time and effort.
Jerry Jensen, a native of Galva and a graduate of Morningside College, has owned and operated Jensen Insurance in Aurelia since 1973. Though he initially sold all kinds of insurance, Jensen, who has a farm background, has concentrated on farm-related insurance for several years.
He has seen a lot of changes in farming operations over the years and insurance needs have correspondingly changed as well. In a nutshell, the biggest change has involved the area population getting smaller and farms getting bigger.
Jensen is also involved with Maple Valley Mutual Insurance in Aurelia and Maple Valley's Brian Lockin manages Property maintenance insurance, while Jensen deals with Farm Liability and Crop Insurance.
Jensen said that farm accounts now need to carry more liability insurance than in previous years, because of the bigger, more technically advanced and expensive equipment being used in farming operations and also concerns over pollution issues.
Jensen Insurance is one of 15 locally-owned crop insurance agents serving thousands of farmers across Iowa. Most farmers insure their crops because it improves their market plan and provides them a "safety net" in case of a crop loss. Possible causes for a lost or damaged crop include drought, insect infestation, floods or hail, which is the biggest risk in this area. Last year, several area farmers lost a good deal of their crop due to hail damage. Jensen said there are two kinds of crop insurance - Yield Protection and Revenue protection, and the latter has a higher premium.
As with all insurance, those taking out a policy hope that they don't have to file a claim - but if they do, they are very glad they did so because it's protection for their very livelihood.
Iowa Corn Farmers set Ethanol, Farm Bill policy -
Iowa corn farmers joined with other farmer members from twenty-six states representing the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) recently at the annual Commodity Classic meeting to determine policies for their respective organizations in 2011 and beyond. NCGA delegates adopted ethanol policy that states "NCGA supports reforming existing ethanol tax policy.Ideas to replace existing tax law, in the following priority order, should be a variable ethanol tax credit followed by an ethanol tax credit at a reduced rate.Non-tax policies should include biofuels infrastructure, higher blends, corn starch ethanol as an advanced biofuel, or favorable flexible fuel vehicle policy." Along with ethanol policy, representatives adopted Farm Bill Policy that says "NCGA should investigate transitioning direct payments into programs that allow producers the ability to manage risk while assuring food security." A major topic at the 2011 Commodity Classic was the current budget situation in Washington D.C. Agriculture represents less than one-half of one percent of the federal budget and farmers will do their part in strengthening the U.S. economy as shown already by cutting more than $4 billion in spending on agriculture programs this fiscal year. "Corn farmers are moving forward to shape our farm and ethanol policies to work with the current political and budget situation in Washington to continue our successes in providing food, fuel, feed and fiber to America and the world," said Dean Taylor, Iowa Corn Growers Association President and a farmer from Prairie City.
'Community Meat Lockers: great source of local food' -
Bill Northey Iowa Secretary of Agriculture (photo)
Iowa is a great agriculture state, but it is also easy to forget that means we are a great food state. The products raised on our farms are found throughout your local grocery store and on your dinner plate. Iowa's livestock farmers produce a lot of that food for us in Iowa and also for people around the world. Our state leads the nation in pork production and is in the top ten in production of beef. And, that delicious corn-fed Iowa beef or a juicy Iowa pork chop are recognized across the globe as the standard of high-quality, flavorful meat. One option to get more of these Iowa-grown products in your diet is to visit your local meat locker. Iowa currently has 164 Iowa inspected establishments serving the people of Iowa. This includes sixty-eight "official establishments" that are able to directly sell their products, labeled "Iowa Inspected and Passed," within the state. There are also eighty-six "custom exempt establishments" that slaughter and process livestock, poultry, and wild game for the owner's exclusive use and are labeled NOT FOR SALE. Custom exempt establishments are also allowed to purchase inspected products for further processing and sale to the household consumer. In addition, ten plants are able slaughter poultry, either on a custom basis for the animal's owner or as an official establishment where they can offer it for sale. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's Meat and Poultry Inspection Bureau licenses and inspects these facilities to ensure the products are safe and the plants are following all mandatory requirements. The requirements at "official" establishments include inspection at slaughter for all livestock and poultry, conducting mandated daily inspection for further processing, and ensuring the facilities are properly maintained. Custom exempt plants work for the animal's owner and are inspected under a Risk Based Inspection Program but are inspected at least quarterly by the Department. Official establishments can also do custom work as long as they keep all the official inspected meat products separate from the custom meat products throughout the entire process. In 2010 official establishments slaughtered and processed approximately 92,000 head of livestock and domestic poultry (84,000 poultry/7,700 livestock), with all of the resulting products sold in Iowa. Custom exempt slaughter and processing accounts for an additional larger number of animals slaughtered and processed for Iowa families to use exclusively in their homes. The basic difference between state and federal inspection is that state inspected and passed products are not allowed in interstate commerce or export. To sell meat across state line, or internationally, a plant needs to be inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS). All plants, both state and federally inspected, are licensed by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. A full list of all the meat processing plants in Iowa, searchable by plant name, city or county, is available on our Department's website so you can find a facility close to you. The directory is available by going to www.IowaAgriculture.govand
selecting the "Bureaus" link on the left side of the page. Then choose "Meat & Poultry Inspection," which will take you to a link where you can choose the "Iowa Licensed Meat and Poultry Plants." So, whether you are looking for a side of beef to fill your freezer before the summer grilling season or you are just looking for a couple of pork chops to enjoy, consider finding the locker plant near you. It is a great way to get safe, high-quality meat while supporting your local community. Plus, your taste buds will certainly thank you as enjoy one of the many foods Iowa does such a great job producing!
Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Program to be in Cherokee -
Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance will be hosting a Spill Prevention, Control and Counter Measures Workshop at Western Iowa Technical Community College in Cherokee on March 22 from 10 a.m. to noon.
This is free and open to all Farm Bureau members. The goal of the SPCC program is to prevent fuel and oil spills into waters of the UnitSed States and adjoining shorelines. A key element of this program calls for farmers and other facilities to have a oil spill prevention plan, called an SPCC Plan. These Plans can help farmers prevent fuel and oil spills which can damage water resources needed for farming operations.
Under SPCC, a farm is "a facility on a tract of land devoted to the production of crops or raising of animals including fish, which produced and sold, or normally would have produced and sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural products during a year."
According to EPA Rules, many farmers will need to have their Plan certified by a Professional Engineer ("PE") if you have 10,000 gallons or more of fuel or oil of storage. However, you may be eligible to self-certify your amended Plan under certain specifications which will be discussed at the meeting.
Farms in operation on or before Aug. 16, 2002, must maintain or amend their existing Plan by Nov. 10, 2011. Any farm that started operation after August 16, 2002, but before Nov. 10, must prepare a Plan on or before Nov. 10. In addition, SPCC applies to a farm, which stores more than 1,320 US gallons in aboveground containers or more than 42,000 US gallons in completely buried containers.
This will be the only Iowa Workshop. There will be a webinar in June for FB members to participate in.
Pre-registration is encouraged by calling Kim George at the Cherokee Farm Bureau office at 712-225-6451.
Question of the week-"What most concerns you as you head back to put your crops in this spring in the name of safety?"
Dean Scmmidt, Meriden-"Don't rush, be alert. Take time to make sure there are no regrets when taking off."
... Kevin Lux, Cherokee-"Make sure kids stay clear of the equipment."
... Steve Peters, Marcus-"Take cautionary methods when working with chemicals."
... Derrick Alquist, Meriden-"Keep an eye on the power-take-off and slow down." ...
... Mike Nothem, Remsen-"Make sure all of your equipment is in good working condition before you start field work. Level heads avoid accidents." ...
... Kenny Patterson, Cherokee-"I try to watch out for traffic when crossing the road with equipment." ...
... Bryan Petersen, Cleghorn-"Watch out for the traffic."