The National Pork Producers Council has written Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack regarding his recent appointments to the National Pork Board. The 15 member board is chosen by the Secretary of Agriculture based on nominations from the Pork Act delegate body. The Pork Act delegates rank the candidates eligible for service on the Pork Board in priority order and traditionally the Secretary has respected the will of those delegates. But in early June, Vilsack rejected two of the top five of eight candidates put forth by the Pork Act delegates, including one from North Carolina. NPPC is categorizing Vilsack's decision as puzzling and disappointing to pork producers, and want him to share his perspective on the matter.
In the letter to Secretary Vilsack, NPPC President Sam Carney says the group understands efforts to ensure the National Pork Board reflects the vast diversity and dynamics of the pork industry. What he doesn't understand is how an entire region of the country can be overlooked, particularly when a candidate from the region was highly recommended by Pork Act delegates who were appointed by the Secretary.
NPPC notes pork producers in North Carolina, the second largest pork producing state, contributed more than 10% of the checkoff funds in 2009.