During its November 15-16 meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, the National Pork Board will celebrate its silver anniversary and continue the work begun with the launch of the Pork Checkoff in November, 1986.

Prior to 1986, the pork industry had a voluntary Checkoff created in 1966 by a visionary group of producers known as the “Moline 90.” By the early 1980s, pork producers were sensing shifting consumer preferences toward leaner meat and feeling new market pressure from other proteins. Producer leaders determined they were going to need additional resources to compete and agreed the best solution was to ask Congress for legislation requiring every pork producer who benefitted from national promotion, research and education efforts to help support those programs.

Congress created the framework for the new Pork Checkoff in the 1985 Farm Bill which was overwhelmingly approved by a producer referendum in 1988. The first Checkoff collected about 27-million dollars. Today, producers have increased their support and in 2011 those proceeds are expected to total approximately 72-million dollars. By law, the money can be used by the national and state pork organizations only for promotion, research and consumer education.