Posted Jan. 30, 2014
He’s raised hogs in Hancock County for 40 years in a family farming business and he’s now the new president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association.
Jamie Schmidt from Garner accepted the gavel from 2013 IPPA President Greg Lear of Spencer at the conclusion of the IPPA Annual Meeting in Des Moines on Jan. 21.
“I’m looking forward to the next year and getting to work with a board that has the good of all producers at heart,” Schmidt said as he began his one-year term.
Schmidt has served on the IPPA Board since 2007 and has held several offices and chaired various committees during his tenure. He was the president-elect in 2013.
Pork exports have been critical to producers’ profitability in recent years and Schmidt believes the continued ability to export will have a big impact in 2014.
“If we lost that ability, it would affect our market price,” Schmidt said. “Disease concerns, disagreements with Canada and Mexico over country of origin labeling and fictitious roadblocks imposed by China and Russia could all impact U.S. pork exports.”
The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, introduced last year by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and Iowa State University, is a science- and technology-based approach to assess and reduce nutrients delivered to Iowa waterways and, ultimately, the Gulf of Mexico. Schmidt supports the strategy and encourages hog farmers to do whatever they can to retain nutrients and improve water quality.
“It’s our opportunity to do this on a voluntary basis and we need to show that we can make improvements and, economically, if we can retain more of the nutrients, it’ll be a plus for us not only in water quality, but also higher profit margins,” said Schmidt.
Research is key to continued industry success and the Iowa Pork Producers Association funds various projects each year, primarily at Iowa State University. A three-year study of the pit foaming issue continues and Schmidt says more study is needed of the deadly Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, especially on how the disease entered the U.S.
The Schmidt family farms 3,600 acres of row crops and the farrow-to-finish hog business markets 18,000 head a year. He is a member of the Hancock County Pork Producers and cattlemen’s association, Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Corn and Soybean associations.
IPPA serves all Iowa hog farmers through the Pork Checkoff and is an industry-inclusive organization whose mission is to provide a unified voice to promote and educate for a sustainable, socially responsible, profitable and globally competitive pork industry.