Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Animal Science

First Advisor

Crystal Levesque


The Pork Checkoff program was founded in 1986 as a means to strengthen U.S. pork in the market place (Pork Checkoff). Under this program all U.S. pork producers and importers pay $0.40 for every $100 worth of pigs is sold (Pork Checkoff). Funds are then used for pork promotion, research, and education for producers and consumers (Pork Checkoff). The Pork Checkoff program uses the We Care ethical principles as a means to address “continuous improvement in the pork industry’s production practices and promote a strong record of responsible farming to those outside of the industry” (National Pork Board, 2018a). The six pillars of the We Care principles are food safety, animal wellbeing, public health, environment, people, and community. Under each of the main pillars are many overlapping subtopics. These include water, animal nutrition, manure management, disease prevention, along with many others. The We Care principles, under environmental stewardship, have the goal to improve water usuage. The current goal is to improve reporting and measuring of in-barn water usage (We Care, 2021). Under the environmental stewardship and animal care pillars are objectives for animal nutrition which include providing balanced and age appropriate diets which contribute to efficient growth (We Care). Proper management for both water and nutrition lead to improved manure management, with the goal to reduce manure output as well improving manure quality through the reduction in nutrient and ammonia output of the manure (We Care). The We Care principles also outline objectives for disease prevention under the pillar of food safety. Part of normal practice in swine facilities is the use of biosecurity and sanitation to reduce the risk of disease. Foreign animal diseases are considered a threat to food safety and security. As a means of preparedness the Pork Checkoff has encouraged swine producers to create site-specific enhanced biosecurity plans which help maintain business continuity in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak (We Care). Due to the relevance of sustainability, animal care, and food safety the following topics of water use, nutrient requirements, and enhanced biosecurity are further analyzed.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Pork industry and trade -- United States.
Swine -- Nutrition.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright