National Pork Board Treasurer Talks P.E.D.V. In Siouxland
NEAR AURELIA, IA —
Derrick Sleezer is living the National Pork Board's slogan.
His family raises around 1,500 acres of corn and soybeanseach year on this farm near Aurelia, Iowa.
"That's not my strong suit, driving tractor," saidSleezer, looking out over an empty soybean field on a warm early April day."I do a little bit, but not very often."
But he really gets to "Be Inspired," by workingwith hogs every day.
"We raise approximately about 15,000 head a year,"said Sleezer.
He's also the Treasurer on the National Pork Board, aposition that lets him keep up to date with the latest issues in the porkindustry.
And the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus is probably thebiggest issue out there right now.
"It's a baby pig diarrhea issue," said Sleezer.
P.E.D.V. came to the U.S. in the spring of 2013.
Now, after millions of dollars spent on research, there arestill a lot of unknowns about the virus, except that it spreads very quickly,and has a very high mortality rate for infected pigs.
And just like any other producer in Iowa, right now Derrick'sdoing his best to keep the sickness away from his farm.
"Keep trailers clean, we're doing a lot more washing anddisinfecting on vehicle movement," said Sleezer. "And making surethat we keep everything as far away from the farms as possible."
But even with this sickness going around, Derrick wantsconsumers to know that pork is still very safe to eat.
"This is not a food safety issue at all. This has zero todo with the product or the quality or the nutritional value of theproduct," said Sleezer. "This is strictly a pig disease."
If you know of any other farmers you think wouldbe great on "Proud to be a Hometown Farmer," please email Jake at: firstname.lastname@example.org