The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) has been selected as one of five university partners participating in a multi-year effort focused on identifying and addressing consumer questions involving the pork industry, announced the National Pork Board.
The establishment of the Real Pork Trust Consortium will bring together the diverse expertise of five universities and will focus on three key areas to build consumer trust: research designed to answer consumer questions about pork and pork production; communications that share the research findings in a relatable, relevant way consumers can easily understand and use when making decisions; and training to empower people from various walks of life to share research-based information about the pork industry.
In addition to UGA, the Real Pork Trust Consortium includes Iowa State University, North Carolina State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and the University of Minnesota. Leading experts in science communication, animal science, animal welfare, sustainability, sociology and agricultural education will work side by side using a systems approach.
“The producer-leaders of the National Pork Board recognize the need to engage with consumers to make sure we understand their questions and they understand more about our commitment to people, pigs and the planet,” said Bob Ruth, the 2023-24 National Pork Board president. “We also know we can’t do that alone. This unique partnership with exceptional talent from multiple land-grant universities is an innovative approach for our industry. We're excited to support the effort through consortium’s advisory council as they identify the most impactful ways to build trust in modern pork production.”
Professor Alexa Lamm of the CAES Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication was selected to join the research group.
“Consumers want answers to their questions about the food they eat, and our team has solid, science-backed answers to share,” said Lamm, who is leading the group's science communication efforts and communication research. “We are excited to lead the Real Pork Consortium’s communication initiatives by partnering with faculty from other universities and an industry that wants to work with scientists to find the answers and use the best methods to communicate transparently about the research behind pork production. We want everyone to have the information they need to make educated choices about the food they eat.”
The consortium is currently in the planning phase and will share more information about its approach and planned work in the fall. To stay current on this work and other initiatives from the Pork Checkoff, visit porkcheckoff.org and sign up for the weekly email.
To learn more about agricultural communication at CAES, visit alec.caes.uga.edu.