Murphy-Brown created its own animal care management system more than a decade ago. Developed in consultation with two of the world’s foremost experts in animal behavior and handling, this system continues to guide our operations today.
Several years ago, we volunteered to provide input and recommendations to help the National Pork Board enhance its animal care management program for all pork producers. That program, which includes many of the tenets of our own Murphy-Brown guidelines, became the National Pork Board’s Pork Quality Assurance (PQA Plus®) program. A pork producer becomes PQA Plus certified only after staff attend training sessions on good production practices (which includes topics such as responsible animal handling, disease prevention, biosecurity, responsible antibiotic use, and appropriate feeding). Farms entered into the program undergo on-farm site assessments and are subject to random third-party audits.
Learn more about how we care for our animals through our video series Taking the Mystery Out of Pork Production. The seven-part series, which was released in early 2011, was designed to open our company’s doors and educate consumers and others about pork production.
LEARN MORE Ensuring Food Safety at Our Feed OperationsAlthough Murphy-Brown and its subsidiaries remain aligned with PQA Plus, we have been working hard over the past year to further enhance our program. We have been working with several noted experts to review our standard operating procedures and help us to improve them. These individuals include internationally recognized livestock handling expert Jennifer Woods; Dr. Anna Johnson, associate professor of animal behavior and well-being research at Iowa State University; and Dr. Janeen Salak-Johnson, associate professor of stress physiology and animal well-being at the University of Illinois.
Recently, the Murphy-Brown East Feed Operations team achieved recognition under the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for food safety. ISO 22000:2005 registration includes feed formulation, grain and ingredient procurement, feed manufacturing, and feed delivery operations.
“Standardization of our practices and the commitment to measure our performance to those standards is important to producing quality feed for our animals and providing a great place to work for our people,” said Al Searles, vice president of feed manufacturing and transportation for Murphy-Brown. “The ISO 22000:2005 registration provides the vehicle to demonstrate our commitment to feed safety and feed quality.”
Murphy-Brown is a member of several important national associations that work on behalf of the pork industry.
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) engages in public policy issues on behalf of the industry, with a mission of protecting the livelihoods of America’s 67,000 pork producers. One of Murphy-Brown’s contract growers, R.C. Hunt, was elected president of the NPPC in March 2012. Hunt is the president and co-owner of Andrews Hunt Farms in Wilson, North Carolina. Murphy-Brown employee Ray Summerlin of Rose Hill, North Carolina, was elected to the board of directors.
The National Pork Board (NPB) is a quasi-governmental body of the United States created by Congress in 1985. The board is responsible for performing industry-related research and promoting pork as a food product. The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture appoints 15 pork producers or importers to serve on the board. Activities are funded by the mandatory National Pork Checkoff (see below), which requires producers to pay into a marketing fund based on animal sales. The board’s vice president is Conley Nelson, general manager of the Murphy-Brown Midwest operations. He is currently serving his second three-year term on the board and chairs the administrative committee. Henry Moore Jr., a Murphy-Brown contract grower from Clinton, North Carolina, sits on the board of directors.
The Pork Checkoff funds research, promotion, and research projects. Funds come from pork producers, who invest 40 cents for each $100 value of hogs sold.