2012 July Seedstock EDGE - page 10

Mike Paul
CEO, National Swine Registry
NSR Editorial
Open Mike
“We know that our volunteers were not killed
or even shot at while carrying our ‘colors,’ but
manymade real sacrifices in their personal lives
to contribute to the success of a larger goal.”
Carry the Colors
In the Civil War, most regiments had
a ten-man honor guard, which carried
the ags of their country and unit into
battle.
Not surprising, carrying something
as conspicuous as these great ags made
the soldier an immediate target for the
enemy. Battle eld records tell us how one
carrier of the ag after another would be
shot. e colors would wobble, and the
next member of the guard would grab it,
then continue on.
For those individuals, it was an honor
to carry those ags, even if it was only for
a very short time.
On occasion, all of the color guard
would be wounded or killed, but there
is no record of a charge being stopped
while o cers searched for volunteers.
Volunteers were always at the ready,
because they felt it was an honor to carry
the ag.
At this point, I am sure most of you
are thinking,
What does this piece of his-
tory have to do with the purebred swine
industry?
e National Swine Registry
and the National Junior Swine Associa-
tion are member-driven associations, and
many of these members have made the
commitment to carry the ‘colors.’
Now, we know that our volunteers
were not killed or even shot at while
carrying our ‘colors,’ but many made real
sacri ces in their personal lives to con-
tribute to the success of a larger goal.
Starting many years ago, breed-
To contact Mike, use your smartphone to scan the code to the left or email him at
ers made a commitment to set up the
respective breed registries for the Duroc,
Hampshire, Landrace and Yorkshire
breeds. Many of these breeders put up
their own money to get these associations
o and running, and then were willing to
put up more during tough times to carry
the ag and lead the charge for future
generations.
Not only did they put up their own
money, but they dedicated their time
and were willing to put their names on
a ballot with their fellow breeders to be
elected by their peers to represent the
breeds they love. Doing this, some of
these breeders and members did take
some “shots” (verbally) while carrying
the ‘colors,’ but they were able to see the
bigger picture.
eir ability to keep moving forward
in the best interest of the purebred swine
industry led us to complete a long range
plan during some of the darkest eco-
nomic times in the swine industry in the
late ’90s.
Part of this long range plan was to im-
plement a junior program at NSR. ere
were shots red at some of the NSR
Executive Committee members over this
decision, because some members felt it
was not the NSR’s job or that NSR did
not need to
commit any
resources
(sta or -
nances) to be
involved in
these junior
activities.
ere
might have
been a little
wobble on occasions by the people that
were carrying the ag, but there were
others willing to pick up and carry on.
anks, in part, to those members
and breeders who were willing to carry
our ‘colors’ through the good times and
bad, we had a record-setting World Pork
Expo last month.
If you were unable to attend this
event at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, I
will say the ‘colors’ were carried proudly
by both our junior and senior exhibitors,
NJSA Board members and NSR sta
members. I want to thank all for their ef-
forts. I know, if the need arises, there will
always be someone in our great industry
who will be willing to step up and carry
our colors.
10 • SEEDSTOCK EDGE
July 2012
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