The response to the "Green Pig Concept" has been very positive
and is growing. I hope it will stimulate the
discussion that is needed to develop an industry approach needed
to re-position our image to consumers and people outside the
Pork Industry as well as others inside the Industry. It
certainly created the attention and a platform from which we can
tell our story along with a handout that explains the details of
I believe embracing the "Green Concept" and allowing us to
define its meaning from a Pork Industry perspective can put us
on the offensive instead of the defensive and will gain the
attention needed for us to tell our story.
Below are two articles of endorsement, along with the "Green
Pig" Trifold Brochure we put together that we used to tell our
story. The Pork Industry Story would not be identical to ours
but would have the overriding "Green Efficiencies" and "Green
Programs" that the Industry have developed to be, Socially,
Environmentally, and Ethically responsible. WE have a great
story to tell!
Live interviews by Trent Loos with myself, Jane Wells CNBC and
Mark Boggess Director ANS NPB can be seen on the Trent Loos YOU
Please take time to read the two articles and the Brochure that
help to explain "The Greenest Pigs" Concept and the potential I
believe it holds for us to gain the attention we need in order
to be heard.
The timing is right for us to embrace the green movement, while
allowing us to define its meaning from the Pork Industry
I truly believe we have been a part of the Green Movement long
before its inception. Please give this your thought and your
Thanks for your consideration. A GREEN PIG IS ENVIRONMENTALLY
GENERATION of GENETICS FOR:
• Genetic Disease
• Premium Pork
• The “Greenest”
• EMS and CNMP by
Nutrient Management Plan
Truline Genetics is dedicated to
making our genetic lines and management programs the “greenest” and most
sustainable in the pork industry! We are committed to the long-term
success of the pork industry through the long-term profitability of our
customers. We not only focus on economic viability but also on ultimate
pork quality as well as environmental and ecological sustainability!
What is a green pig? A green pig at
Truline Genetics has the following characteristics:
Efficiency Efficient pigs utilize less feed and water
reducing their impact on the environment and decreasing their “carbon
footprint”. More efficiency means less manure and wastewater.
Rapid Growth Pigs that grow
rapidly also utilize less total feed and other resources such as energy
and fuel to get to market weight thus decreasing their “carbon
footprint”. Rapid growth produces less manure and wastewater.
Extreme Maternal Efficiency
Our maternal lines are selected for total performance...large litters,
easy keeping sows, prompt rebreeding and excellent behavior. Sows are
selected to thrive and function without special treatment. Our sows are
easy to handle and comfortable in any production system.
Less Nitrogen and Phosphorus
Better efficiency and diet design means less micronutrient excretion and
less manure. Less manure results in less nitrogen and phosphorus
produced as well as lower water consumption. These factors reduce our
Better Care and Safety We are
PQA Plus certified and follow strict animal handling protocols. This
practice helps ensure the absolute health, safety and comfort of each
pig, not to mention that of our valued employees and family members.
Research and Development
Truline Genetics has instituted a program to advance our sustainability
goals and to ensure we continue to produce the most efficient and
environmentally friendly pork in the industry. We intend to be industry
leaders in this effort to secure the competitiveness of our industry now
and in the future.
Truline Genetics is
celebrating over 50 years in the swine breeding business. We have placed
our breeding pigs and genetics in 48 states, throughout North America,
and worldwide in more than 25 countries.
Our vision and commitment is to genetic improvement through genetic
change to meet the demands of today’s dynamic consumers in an
These demands have dictated our growth and change over the past 50
years. We have moved from a single breed, to multiple breeds, to
providing customized Truline Breeding Systems. Truline offers selection
for specific, specialized genetics that will lead us into The Next
Generation of Swine Breeding.
The Next Generation of Genetics at Truline will meet the demands of a
consumer generation asking for:
Pork produced from more
environmentally and animal friendly production systems. Higher quality
pork products with “Old Fashion Taste and Tenderness” to provide an
extraordinary eating experience.
Pork products free of antibiotics
and produced on a non-animal by-product diet.
Pork products ethically produced,
socially responsible, and committed to a “greener” environment.
Truline Genetics is committed to genetic lines selected for Nature’s
Pork. Truline’s “greener” genetics provide the world’s “greenest” pigs
producing the “greenest” pork, for the next and “greenest” generation.
The Next Generation of Truline Genetics has been selected to meet these
EMS Environmental Policy
Forkner Farms, Inc. is a family owned and operated
crop and livestock breeding business committed to
excellence in all phases. It consists of Forkner
Farms (Cropping), Truline Genetics (Swine Breeding),
Truline Premium Pork (Pork Meat Products) and
Truline Maines (Cattle Breeding).
Forkner Farms, Inc. is committed to producing the
highest quality products at the most efficient and
profitable level. We also adhere to honesty,
integrity, fairness, transparency, responsiveness,
environmental stewardship and solutions for all
individuals, businesses and authorities.
Forkner Farms, Inc. is committed to environmental
stewardship. We practice conservation and best
management practices to comply with pertinent
regulations. Forkner Farms believes in maintaining
good relationships with our neighbors and community
while minimizing pollution. We will continue to be
proactive in environmental responsibility and
promote ownership of this policy to all employees.
Green Ham and Eggs
The World Pork Expo in Des Moines, IA was amazing this year. It
wasn’t that there was any new unveiling that was just tremendous
but the character of the United States farmer/rancher was
evident. In a year that will not generate one dollar of profit
for pork producers, attitudes were great. Producers are still
seeking the newest and best way of converting natural resources
into human consumable products. Without a doubt, 2008 will be
one of the years when that age-old saying rings true: What
doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. Anyone who is still in
the pig business for World Pork Expo 2009 will be in a
tremendous position. One issue we must address is that we often
talk about the efficiency of the U.S. farmer but we don’t put it
in layman’s terms so that the non-farm person understands what
we are talking about.
Word spread pretty fast around the fairgrounds that there was a
green pig at the show. Yes, a green pig. Not a genetically
engineered green pig but rather a pig right out of the Trent
Loos play book of making your point, a pig dyed green. Everett
Forkner from Richards, MO and his 50-year-old Truline Genetics
company found a way to get the attention of the non-farm
attendees that made it to Des Moines. He dyed a Yorkshire gilt
green. The tactic worked as he lured in Jane Wells from CNBC who
was on hand from Los Angeles. They broadcast a national story
about the green pig at the World Pork Expo.
Everett encouraged me to endorse the green movement. “For
generations American farmers and ranchers have implemented the
best in environmental stewardship and animal care but we haven’t
explained it properly.” He believes that today’s food production
in the U.S. is very “green” but those sentiments are not held by
others around the world. I would add that it is high time we
find a way to tell this story because for the past year and half
every airport conversation I’ve entered into includes concerns
about the climate because of the impact from meat production.
People have not refrained from eating meat because of it but are
beginning to feel guilty because they do eat meat.
In an interview, Everett mentioned that we are more efficient
with our natural resources than we have ever been. He indicated
that in his life time in pork production the efficiency of
producing a pound of pork has gone from 4 pounds of feed per
pound of gain to just under 3 pounds of feed. Yes, that is a 25%
improvement but when we explain it in that manner it doesn’t
mean a thing to the average soccer mom. So check this out.
In the United States we produce 100 million pigs per year. Each
pig gains an average of 250 pounds of body weight. For the sake
of my cowboy arithmetic, I will round numbers to make my point.
Thanks to confined animal feeding facilities, improved genetics
and preventive health care systems, it now takes one pound less
feed to produce a pound of pork. That savings in feed is 250
pounds of feed per pig times 100 million pigs raised annually
equates to 450 million fewer bushels of corn each year to feed
the same number of pigs. In the United States, we yield an
average of roughly 150 bushels of corn per acre planted, which
means the same number of efficient pigs are fed with 3 million
fewer acres of land.
Until now I have been reluctant to endorse the “green” movement
because it typically carries with it the concept that humans are
solely to blame for global warming. I think Everett Forkner has
proven that it is beneficial for us to endorse the green
movement but if and only if we are each willing to dye our pig
green to make a point. While we may not need to dye all of our
pigs green, the above scenario explains to anyone how the
efficiency of the United States agricultural system is the best
in the world. Wait! I think we may have just proven that the
grass is greener on this side of the fence, but if we don’t
close the gate before all of the food producers get out, it
By Trent Loos
Feature article “High Plains Journal” June 16, 2008
Commentary for Farms.com
I saw a lot of good ideas and some really great applications of
equipment for the pork industry at the 2008 World Pork Expo. But
one of the best ideas combined a lot of programs together into
what Everett Forkner calls “The Greenest Pig”. While Truline
Genetics is looking at this from the standpoint of an early
adopter for financial gain, it is clearly something that the
entire industry should implement. Years ago, while on staff at
National Pork Producers Council and then at the National Pork
Board, I was involved in many discussions on the concept of a
Professional Pork Producer or Gold Pork Producer concept. In
fact years ago John Adams and his colleagues in North Carolina
implemented something similar in their Eastern Pork concept.
The idea is to incorporate all the industry programs, each
significant in their own right, into one overarching program.
Everett calls it “the Greenest Pig” capitalizing on the national
movement commonly referred to as the green revolution. This
movement is gaining momentum at breakneck speed. This makes me
think that while we had a great idea back 10-15 years ago, it
was clearly before its time. However, I agree with Everett that
the time has arrived.
In an unprecedented move, NPPC and the National Pork Board
together announced a new program at the WPX called “We Care”.
This new effort is aimed at improving the image of pork
production by taking a proactive stance on the ethical
principles driving modern pork producers. The program commits
producers to a program of social responsibility.
Everett’s program not only commits to the “We Care” program but
also identifies about every other interest of the green movement
including environmental stewardship, through the environmental
management system and the use of a comprehensive nutrient
management plan. He claims natural production, antibiotic free
selection, genetic disease resistance, premium pork quality,
extended longevity, and optimum productivity. He says that his
green pigs reduces the carbon footprint, an idea that is gaining
much momentum. His sows are given optimum care and welfare in
his system which emphasizes extreme maternal efficiency where
sows are selected to thrive and function without special
treatment. Of course, PQA Plus is a standard part of this
program with its animal welfare and handling implications.
This idea is something the entire industry needs to adopt
establishing pork producers as the premier guardians of the
animals in their care and of the environment which they impact.
All this would help position pork very positively in the minds
of consumers. Who knows…maybe we will market The Other White
Meat from the Greenest Pigs!
By David Meisinger
Pork Center of Excellence
Commentary Article-Farms .Com June 10, 2008
The "Greenest" Pigs