okPork Executive Dir. Roy Lee Lindsay Says Times are Changing, Time to Face Challenges AheadMon, 02 Jul 2018 11:57:17 CDT
At the Oklahoma Pork Congress this past week in Norman, Okla., Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with Roy Lee Lindsay, executive director of the Oklahoma Pork Council. Lindsay offered a few of the speaking points he prepared to address those in attendance at the Congress, regarding the current state of the industry and where it is headed. If nothing else, Lindsay implied the main takeaway from his update is that the pork industry is facing a period of transition, as many changes are beginning to become increasingly apparent. Listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“Our breeding herd is increasing, and our market herd is declining,” Lindsay stated, framing the changes happening from a data-specific standpoint. “I can show you that both in terms of our Checkoff receipts or our USDA numbers. I don’t know if that’s positive or negative, but it is just the reality that we’re dealing with.”
On that note, Lindsay shifted gears to address what exactly the Oklahoma Pork Council is doing to promote the industry, which like many other segments of the ag world, has come under increased scrutiny regarding its production practices and the level of care and welfare producers provide to the livestock they oversee.
“What we know consumers want, is they want to know you share the same values they have,” he said, explaining okPork’s latest initiative to reach consumers. “We’ve worked really hard in the last 12 months to get our “Day in the Life” video blog launched. I think that’s a huge step forward as we talk about transparency.”
Essentially, this vlog will give viewers a glimpse into the daily routine of local pork producers, filmed and produced by an okPORK staff member who will regularly spend a day on the farm with different individuals in the industry. These videos will be available to watch on the okPORK website as well as the organization’s YouTube channel.
“These videos are designed to give you a sneak peek at the people that are doing the work,” he said. “Because, that’s where you demonstrate what your values are.”
Touching on more changes to come, Lindsay unveiled the Council’s plans to move the Oklahoma Pork Congress to August when those in the industry aren’t as busy. In addition, he introduced a new event being launched this year in conjunction with the Congress, billed as “Viva Las Bacon,” a casino night fete at the conclusion of the Congress’ business meant to simply offer producers a time to come together to have fun and build fellowship.
“We’ve got the same challenge everybody else does - how do we get young people to come not just into our industry, but our organization and keep them engaged,” he said. “So, we’re looking at new ways to do that and excited to see how that plays out.”
Furthermore, one unknown that has been emphasized as of late by the recent elections, is how the ag industry will continue to effectively protect its interests with its representation in the state legislature on a steady decline in past years. As the urban population grows and rural communities shrink, Lindsay says this is a trend that will likely continue and presents yet another challenge for Oklahoma’s ag producers to deal with.
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