The CLEAR Center at the University of California, Davis has begun a partnership with the National Pork Board (NPB) to further sustainability research and extension in swine production. The CLEAR Center, led by Dr. Frank Mitloehner, leverages world-class research and science communication to improve sustainability in animal agriculture.
“Working with the National Pork Board aligns with our land grant mission to research and share work through extension and outreach that is of value to society,” said Mitloehner. “The Center’s partnership with the swine sector highlights the trust producers have in us to find solutions that benefit our environment while helping to ensure high-quality food is produced.”
The National Pork Board has committed $600,000 to the CLEAR Center to focus on sustainability research and extension work. With this funding, the CLEAR Center will research pork sustainability practices and release findings. Additionally, the CLEAR Center will help build foundational knowledge around pork production and sustainability while providing input on current sustainability initiatives in pork production.
“This is the start of a great partnership,” Mitloehner continued. “Pork was one of the most widely consumed protein across the globe in 2021, with the U.S. producing 12% of the world’s pork. And while the pork industry has made great strides in sustainability, they continually strive to do better. The opportunity to work with the sector to improve environmental impacts of such an important commodity is significant.”
According to a Pork Checkoff-funded life cycle analysis of pork production between 1960 and 2015, pig farmers reduced their land, water and energy use by 75%, 25% and 7%, respectively, resulting in a nearly 8% smaller environmental footprint.
“Our We Care® Ethical Principles and commitment to continuous improvement through fact-based research drives our sustainability strategy,” said Dale Stevermer, NPB Board member from Minnesota. “Farmers will benefit from the collaboration with CLEAR because we are working with respected researchers at a top-notch land grant university, and supporting their efforts to communicate research results to various stakeholders.”
Since its creation in 2018, the CLEAR Center has worked on similar efforts with dairy and beef producers. The new partnership with the National Pork Board will allow the CLEAR Center and UC Davis to further their sustainability work in the animal agriculture sector.