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Monday, January 17, 2011

Down on Main Street

Food For Thought members at Operation Main Street training

Thank you Bob Seger, for the introduction. Last Thursday and Friday, 10 Food For Thought members participated in Operation Main Street (OMS). OMS is a pork industry media training program sponsored by The National Pork Board. The goal of Operation Main Street is to educate trainees on pork production, current issues in the pork industry and how to communicate with the public and media about the pork industry.

During the two day event, FFT members learned how to prepare and conduct a telephone interview, deliver an informative speech and how to field tough questions about pork production. Chelsea Good was a participant in the telephone interview exercise. After her interview, she was able to hear what the reporter would have aired on a news program. All OMS participants agreed that having a live example was extremely valuable in learning the proper way to conduct an interview.

Participants took their first-hand knowledge of pork production, combined with the speaking skills learned from the program, and developed a 5 minute speech about the pork industry. After delivering the speech, each participant fielded tough questions from OMS peers and pork industry leaders. Some of the tough questions asked of OMS participants included:

- How do today’s pork producers control odor on modern pork farms?
- Why do you enjoy raising pork?
- Isn’t it true that today’s pork farms employ a large number of illegal immigrants?

Other questions dealt with common misperceptions in animal agriculture such as antibiotic use, euthanasia and undercover videos.

Additionally, the program provided FFT members with valuable current information on the economics of pork production, current government policy that affects pork producers, animal well-being and environmental issues.

OMS was a valuable experience that provided participants with the information needed convey to the truths, and bust the myths, about U.S. pork production.

If you would like to host an OMS speaker, you can visit the Operation Main Street website or contact a FFT member directly.

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

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