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Pork Checkoff Offers Emergency Tools

Mon, 01/21/2013 - 12:30pm

DES MOINES, Iowa (NPB) — The Pork Checkoff recently introduced two new tools to help pork producers in the event of a crisis or emergency on their farm. The Farm-level Crisis Response Plan template and Emergency Action Plan, provide customizable, step-by-step guides to help producers be prepared and stay on track in their commitment to providing a safe, quality product.

"Whether you have a large or small farm, you can never be too prepared for a crisis or emergency,"said Derrick Sleezer, a pork producer from Cherokee, Iowa, and member of the National Pork Board. "The two new Checkoff-funded tools allow producers to fill in the blanks and tailor each plan to his or her operation, providing a clear plan of action in an otherwise challenging time."

The Farm-Level Crisis Response Plan template provides a framework for evaluating the risk of on-farm crisis situations, identifying prevention measures and responding effectively should a crisis occur. The electronic planning tool outlines five crisis response steps, as well as how to assess the intensity level of a crisis. The plan includes guidance in assembling, preparing and activating a crisis team; assessing areas of vulnerability; determining the most important communication audiences; capturing information needed to make timely, accurate decisions; and taking steps to control the situation using hour-by-hour checklists. The tool is designed for confidential use and is available through a downloadable version at www.pork.org/farmlevelcrisisplan or as a desktop version.

The Emergency Action Plan is a valuable tool to reduce the impact of an emergency on a producer's farm. The electronic tool provides an outline for producers to create a customized plan for their operation, including, operation information, site contacts, a hazard plan and a maintenance/training calendar that can be customized for each farm site and hazard type. Also designed for confidential use, two versions are available - the downloadable version available at http://eap.pork.org or as a desktop version.

The National Pork Board has the responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health, pork safety and environmental management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at www.pork.org.

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