Home Agri-Line Advocating for U.S. Pork Sustainability

Advocating for U.S. Pork Sustainability

(IARN)Dale Stevermer, Minnesota farmer and National Pork Board member, advocated for U.S. pork sustainability at the G7 Agriculture Ministers’ meeting in Japan.

“All farmers really want to do what’s right for the environment, but we don’t want to be mandated what to do or how to do it,” Stevermer said. “We’d like more of a voluntary approach so that we can have a full buy in on what we’re doing.”

Stevermer also shared insights about the Checkoff-funded Pork Cares Farm Impact Report.

Our ability to come up with the Park Cares on farm reports that we have developed and aggregate that data across the United States and show the carbon footprint of pork is going to be increasingly more valuable selling point in the export market,” Stevermer said.

Despite the need to meet consumer demand for sustainable food, Stevermer said new technologies and practices can be risky for farmers. He advocated for multi-level partnerships to support and incentivize farmers to adopt new practices. One example is the Advancing U.S. Pork Sustainability Grant for eligible pork producers in Iowa, Minnesota, and Missouri. As one of 141 projects in USDA’s Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities Program, this grant involves multiple partners who provide technical support and financial incentives to producers for adopting climate-smart agriculture practices.

“It does give a lot of credibility,” Stevermer said. “It also shows the importance of all producers and I’ll even say all farmers to be able to be willing to step out of their comfort zone, which is on the farm, and be willing to have conversations with, whether it’s consumers or legislators are just to share with them the things we are doing on the farm.”

For more information, visit pork.org.