In 1966 a group of ninety dedicated hog men met in Moline, Illinois and without “benefit organization” vowed to accept the challenge put forth by the National Hog Farmer just four months earlier. The Hog Farmer had charged hog men to quit talking about their problems and do something positive to solve them. These tough-minded hog men, plus hundreds more, joined in and put nearly $40,000 into a “get ready” fund to develop a program to help the hog industry.
The next step was a nation-wide poll of producers that again was published by the National Hog Farmer. Guided by this poll, and using the “get ready” funds, a full-time staff man was hired. This man was Rolland “Pig” Paul, who without any guarantee of salary, helped to mold the National Pork Producers Council. The first national convention was held December 7, 1966, with about 1,000 producers in attendance. At this convention the blueprint for action was adopted. This plan was to organize all states that supported the program. North Dakota became an affiliate member of the National Pork Producers in 1969. The logical place for North Dakota producers to start seemed to be in remolding the existing Swine Breeders Association. The name was changed to Swine Improvement Association and the commercial producers were invited to become more active in this organization.
On April 1, 1971 a dream came true. The commission companies at Union Stockyards in West Fargo unanimously agreed to cooperate with the National Pork Producers Council and begun checking off nickels on an implied consent. Implied consent simply meant that a nickel will be checked off each hog marketed instead of the old meat-board deduction of one cent. Keith Bjerke of Northwood, ND became the first president.
An auxiliary group called the “porkettes” was formed and the women became involved with the art of pork promotion. Janice Simon of Mayville, ND became the first porkette president.
The organization now has a ten member board that operates with checkoff and non-checkoff monies.
Committees consist of:
- Resource Development
- Production Technology/Research
- Public Policy