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Panel - Doing what’s right vs. looking for the camera


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Doing what’s right vs. looking for the camera - Lynn Becker, Pork Producer; Sherrie Niekamp, M.S., National Pork Board; Cindy Cunningham, National Pork Board, from the 2012 World Pork Expo, June 6-8, Des Moines, Iowa, USA.

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Panel - Doing what’s right vs. looking for the camera

  1. 1. Crisis Communication in Real Life PORK Academy World Pork Expo 2012 Lynn Becker, pork producer
  2. 2. A Lesson Learned from National News3. On Jan 15, 2009….US Airways flight 1549 took off from LaGuardia Airport.4. 90 sec after that, it lost all engine power upon striking a flock of geese 3,200 ft above NYC.5. 3 ½ minutes later, the plane touched down in the Hudson River with all the passengers and crew safe and sound. What could have been a major loss of life became a textbook lesson in crisis management based on preparation and the use of available tools
  3. 3. When activists come to YOUR farm MowMar, LLP –Bayard, IA  6,000 sow farm  Recently purchased by new owners  Becker family – Fairmont, MN  Thome family - Adams, MN  Corrective actions implemented
  4. 4. A three minute video…. September 16th, 2008  PETA released video and launched member e-mail campaign  Landmark event – worldwide news  Inappropriate actions as well as language displayed
  5. 5. A three minute video….  Aimed at Hormel, but affected all industry  Nearly 30,000 calls, e-mails and letters received from consumers, customers and media  More than 11.6 million media impressions from more than 220 published articles referencing PETA and Hormel Foods
  6. 6. We’re here to help After “Oh Crap” what did you do?  Called the following  Manager & other owners  State office  National offices  Attorney  Banker  Packer
  7. 7. The wheels were in motion Coordinated effort of the industry led by Cindy Cunningham from NPB  NPB, NPPC, AASV, IA Pork, MN Pork, Hormel to name a few  Alliances strengthened ahead of time Unprecedented event – writing the book as the events unfolded
  8. 8. What we learned Crisis management  Immediate response & action  Farm situation  PETA  Media All the time  Watch for signals & investigate  Details, details, details
  9. 9. What we learned All the time (cont.)  Create a positive barn culture  Ethical Principles – We Care Program  Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus  Transport Quality Assurance (TQA)  Operate like you’re on camera IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU!
  10. 10. What helped prepare us?PRIOR LEADERSHIP ROLES FFA College boards & activities Pork Producer Boards MN Ag & Rural Leadership program School boards, PTL, etc.Building alliances BEFORE you need them!
  11. 11. Media / Leadership Training Pork Producers Farm Bureau Young Farmer Program Leadership Experience Operation Main Street
  12. 12. Conclusion Be vigilant Be prepared IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU!
  13. 13. Establishing Culture Sherrie Niekamp Director Swine Welfare
  14. 14. Culture: the set of values, conventions, or social practicesassociated with a particular field,activity, or societal characteristic.
  15. 15. Employee Recruiting and Hiring• Background checks – Correlations between animal abuse, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, elder abuse and other forms of violence.• Check references• Written job descriptions defining job responsibilities• Interview questions – Attitudes towards animals – Scenario based questions – Task related questions
  16. 16. Orientation of New Employees• Set the expectations – Employee Handbook – Animal Welfare Policy – Whistleblower Policy• We Care Ethical Principles – 6 areas – How these impact daily tasks
  17. 17. Training and Managing Caretakers• Teaching the expectations – All animal caretakers are PQA Plus certified – Formal documented training process – Written Standard Operating Procedures• Employee performance management – Performance appraisals at least annually – Training specific to daily duties and retraining as needed – Use progressive discipline practices when performance is not meeting job requirements
  18. 18. Animal Care Program• PQA Plus site assessments – Advisor and internal – Corrective actions• Maintain required records• Consult with herd veterinarian• Animal handlers and transporters are TQA certified• Source pigs from sites with a current PQA Plus site assessment
  19. 19. Community Outreach• Transparent animal care philosophy and program• Outreach to lenders/consolidators/packers• Engaging with your neighbors• Engaging with local law enforcement to discuss farm security and emergency response.
  20. 20. Are You Preparedfor an Opposition Group? Cindy Cunningham Assistant Vice President, Communications National Pork Board 515-223-2600
  21. 21. Other Action Plans in Place• Farm-level action plans – Manure management plan – Roster of contacts for emergencies – Breeding programs – Feeding programs – Pig flow plan – Crop rotation – Emergency Action Plan
  22. 22. Potential Farm Action Plan• Contacted by PETA/HSUS/FARM… – Who is the lead/team • What are their responsibilities – Is the contact legitimate – Who needs to know – Who can help – Get the facts straight – What is the plan
  23. 23. Industry Assistance Is Available• National Pork Board• National Pork Producers Council• State Pork Association• American Association of Swine Veterinarians• Extension• Law Enforcement
  24. 24. Potential Plan Segments• Activist correspondence• Employees• Pork production• Legal counsel• Law enforcement• External communications – Lenders, packers, vendors, neighbors, community, media• Industry relations – the ability to do business after the situation
  25. 25. What Do You Need To Protect?• Your family and employees – Safety first – Keep getting the work done while you fight the battle• Your animals – What if your employees all quit – Who cares for your pigs• Your reputation – Not just issue of pride – Issue of being able to do business
  26. 26. In All Cases• All employees need to know the plan – And their role• Who is in charge and deals with this situation – Owner, site manager, team leader• Who is their backup/assistant – Should be available to assist in any way – Take notes, listen, contact additional help
  27. 27. Mow-Mar As Example• The owners of the farm were focused on doing the right thing in this situation• They met with PETA• They took corrective action• The industry was able to tell the story• The outcome would have been significantly different had the owners not followed those steps
  28. 28. Bottom Line---• Do the right thing• Tell your story before someone else tells their version• Have your alliances and reputation in order before you need them• Every single situation is an industry situation today!
  29. 29. Every Situation Impacts Us All• Have your house in order• Know your plan• Build your relationships early• Do the right thing every single time
  30. 30. Don’t forget to rate this session on your WPX mobile app! To rate the session,go to Events, click on the session, and then click the ‘Rate this session’ button.Note that you can only rate a session after it has ended, and some devicesmay not have access to this feature. (If you still need to download the app, typethis URL into your web browser: We value yourfeedback!
  31. 31. Available Resources Questions sThis message funded by America’s Pork Checkoff Program.