Pedigree Portal: Meeting the Deadline

Many shows have registration and ownership deadlines to be aware of. 
Some shows also have a deadline for when all pigs have to be recorded. The registration date that appears on the pedigree will be the date we received the work. For those mailing litter applications, be sure to allow time for delivery as the registration date is the date the information is processed in the office, not the date you postmarked the envelope. We do not back date registrations, so please check the rules of the show and record your litters ahead of time. 

Online litters are downloaded daily, so if you record your litters through the NSR website on a given evening, the date shown on your registration papers will be the next day when they were downloaded into our system. For example, if you have a December 1 registration deadline for a show, you will need to record the litter prior to December 1 if you are recording online. If you record the litter on the afternoon or evening of December 1, the date registered on the registration papers will be December 2. Online submissions are checked throughout the day, and we typically check for the last time at 3 PM Eastern Time each business day' however, to be certain your online litters will be recorded the same day, please submit them prior to 12 PM Eastern Time.

If you’re planning to exhibit at an NJSA event, pay attention to the ownership deadline for each show. You must have your pig purchased by that date. On your pedigree, the date of sale will show above the current owner’s name. If this date is after the NJSA ownership deadline, the exhibitor will not be eligible to show that pig. 

Also, please note that we no longer have a P.O. Box address. Any work that you attempt to send to the old address will eventually be returned to you in the mail. We will not be able to back date work which was originally mailed to our old address and returned to you. Our current mailing address is: 
2639 Yeager Road
West Lafayette, IN  47906

Please be mindful of the rules and regulations for each event so you don't have to worry about not being eligible to show. 
If there is anything I can help you with, let me know!

Whitney Hosier
Hampshire/Landrace/DNA Secretary

Step Up, Speak Out

In my last Industry Insights post, we talked about the “Crate Debate.” This is just one of a handful of animal welfare debates facing our industry, and recent research from Purdue University yielded some “red flag” results for pork producers. Dr. Nicole Olynk Widmar (Agricultural Economics), Dr. Candace Croney (Animal Science) and Melissa McKendree (Agricultural Economics) conducted a survey of U.S. consumers related to perceptions of livestock – specifically pork – production. What they found may come as a shock.

Of the 798 survey participants, nearly one-third had never been to a farm that raised animals for the food system, and only 31 percent had visited such a farm within the last five years – which is representative of the nearly 98 percent of Americans who are not directly involved in agricultural production.

These researchers also looked at the consumers’ sources of information regarding animal welfare issues. This chart breaks down the responses:

There are a few important take-away messages from this.
When asked which sources they frequented the most, they cited the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). In fact, more people turned to the HSUS and PETA for animal welfare information than industry groups, government agencies and scientific sources combined. (Source)
This is not good news for those of us in animal agriculture. However, there is another number that caught my eye...
56% of respondents indicated that they did not have a source for animal welfare information. (Source)
This tells us that there is an untapped group of consumers that we can reach with the positive story about pork production. Why is this important?
Fourteen percent of consumers stated that they had reduced pork consumption by an average of 56 percent from their previous consumption over the past three years due to animal welfare concerns. (Source)
If these numbers are a true reflection of the U.S. population, that adds up to a lot of pork! And at the end of the day, the concern is both the ineffectiveness of communication between the ag industry and consumers, as well as the effectiveness of the messages coming from animal welfare organizations. 
This is not to say we are not trying to improve our connection with consumers. In fact, in the latest issue of Seedstock EDGE, you will find a story about Operation Main Street – a training platform introduced by The Pork Checkoff in 2004. Through this program, swine producers across the nation are connected with local community groups to present information about modern pork production. This has become a forum where consumers can ask specific questions about production practices, the safety of pork and other important topics in the swine industry.
This is just one example of many where the agricultural community is reaching out to educate consumers about what exactly it is we do. As we move forward, it will be important to keep asking ourselves not if we are doing enough, but also if we are doing it the right way. If one method of communication doesn’t seem to be helping us reach our audience, we will have to change our tactics. Otherwise, that 56% could swing the other way.
Click here to read the article on the National Hog Farmer website, which also covers survey results regarding the concern toward different segments of operation within the swine industry and opinions toward specific production practices.
What do you think we need to do to reach consumers with the story of pork production? To share your thoughts, comment below or shoot me an e-mail. Find my contact info here. 

Stock Marketing: E-mail - It's a Blast

In October, I encouraged you to “mix up your media.” This month, in Stock Marketing, I want to focus on direct e-mail marketing –  also known as e-Blasts. Most of you are probably familiar with e-Blasts because they fill your inboxes with coupons, announcements and sales each day, but have you thought about using an e-Blast to promote your farm? If not, I want to give you a few perks of e-mail marketing to mull over.

  •  It’s growing – But don’t believe me, check out some of these stats put together by PR Daily. According to information gathered by the Direct Marketing Association, there are 3.3 billion e-mail accounts throughout the world. And e-mail marketing doesn’t mean your audience needs to be glued to a computer – eight out of 10 smartphone users check and send  electronic mail from their phones, and of those eight, half check their e-mail as soon as they wake up.  That’s enough to convince a lot of marketers to invest in e-mail campaigns, resulting in a steady 10 percent growth of e-mail marketing in the US.
  • It’s direct – E-mail gives producers a way to directly target a very specific group of potential  customers. These messages can even be personalized to include each recipient’s name. This extra personalization and targeted messaging means more opened mail.
  • It’s easy to track – Have you ever wondered how many people have paused over a print advertisement? How many readers do you think sought out more information about your operation on the Web? Unless someone called you and specifically referred to your print ad, you’ll likely never know. But, with email marketing, you know exactly how many people opened your message to view it, and even how many potential buyers decided to “click through” the e-mail to find more information by visiting the links you embedded.
  • It’s affordable – Without the added costs of ink and paper, e-mail marketing is a very affordable option for producers. In fact, if you were to use the National Swine Registry’s e-Blast service, the average cost for each name reached is less than 3 cents.

I hope that these points will help you consider adding e-Blasts to your advertising arsenal in 2013. As always, feel free to contact the Marketing & Communications staff here at the National Swine Registry. We are happy to help you find the right marketing platforms to promote your purebred genetics!