NC Pork Report - Spring 2013 - (Page 7)

Message from the President A Year of Opportunity A David Herring 2013 NCPC President I want us to really step out this year and educate our elected officials and their appointees on the truth about North Carolina’s pork industry. s I begin this year of service as your president of the North Carolina Pork Council, I am looking forward to the opportunities and challenges we have ahead of us. The pork industry has been an important part of my life, and I am honored to be able to give back in this way. Let me take a moment to introduce myself and my family and our involvement in the North Carolina pork industry. In 1969, my father, Billy Herring, founded Hog Slat, Inc. At the time he was operating a 1,200-sow, farrow-to-finish farm. When Dad realized there was inadequate flooring available for the nursery he was building, he began fabricating his own slats. Dad soon realized there was a need for the slats he had created and, reacting to the inquiries made by other local farmers, he began producing single slats on a small scale for area pork producers with two employees. This led to Hog Slat becoming the first major producer of slats in the Southeast. Over the past 40 years Hog Slat, Inc., has become a truly diversified corporation, covering the spectrum of manufacturing and fabrication, retail, distribution, sales, service and construction. Although Hog Slat has continued to grow, my family believes it is important to remember that the company began as a family farm operation raising hogs for market, and that is why it remains an integral part of the Hog Slat story today. That 1,200-sow operation Dad had in 1969 has grown to more than 20,000 sows under management in North Carolina, Illinois and Indiana. Operating under the name TDM Farms, the sow farms provide us a real-life scenario to test new products and ideas before bringing them to the marketplace. As you can see, the pork industry has been and continues to be very important to my family. We appreciate the opportunities it has provided us, and we feel very blessed and proud to be involved with so many wonderful people in such a great industry. I began my real involvement with the NC Pork Council when I was elected to the Board of Directors in 2007. We have seen many changes within the pork industry over those years. However, many things have remained the same. We continue to battle the growing cost of feed grains, the right to expand existing farm, and our industry’s ever-present fight against groups that don’t like or understand animal agriculture. One of the greatest challenges to the North Carolina industry going forward is ourselves. We must not become complacent, we need to identify our advantages and disadvantages and work together to become better and more efficient producers going forward. Over the last 20 years, we competed with a Midwest pork industry that was fragmented and not efficient; however, that is not the case today. Modern building designs and productions systems are nationwide today, and we do not enjoy some of the advantages we once did. Our industry led the change to a safer more efficient way to produce pork, and we will have to be ready to accept new roles and changes to remain on top and profitable. As we look forward to 2013, there is a new landscape in North Carolina. It began in 2011 with the shift of power that took place in the state House of Representatives and the state Senate and then again, just last month, in the governor’s mansion. There is new leadership throughout state government that, although we hope will be more business-friendly than perhaps some have been in the past, the majority is still unaware of what it is we do in the pork industry and what the pork industry does for North Carolina. I want us to really step out this year and educate our elected officials and their appointees on the truth about North Carolina’s pork industry. Many of the NCPC presidents who have preceded me have said the same thing, albeit slightly different, but the sentiment is the same – WE must tell OUR story. We should enjoy the changes and challenges and take advantage of all the opportunities this great industry creates for us. S p r i n g 2 0 1 3 • N C P o r k R epor t 7

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NC Pork Report - Spring 2013

Message from the President
Industry News
2013 Livestock Legislative Day on April 30
Introducing the 2013 Board of Directors
Pork Producers and Industry Reps Gather for 2013 Pork Conference
Norman C. Denning Enters NCPC Hall of Fame
Channing Gooden Named Pork All-American
2013 Outstanding Pork Producer is Stephen Williamson
Duplin County’s Bennie Barwick Named Environmental Steward Winner
Bo Stone Wins Faces of Farming & Ranching National Spokesperson Search
Another Successful Bacon Bash!
2nd Annual Flying Pig Challenge Sporting Clays Tournament is April 19
2013 Student Internship Program
2013 North Carolina Pork Council Scholarship

NC Pork Report - Spring 2013