2013 June Seedstock EDGE - page 10

Mike Paul
CEO, National Swine Registry
NSR Editorial
Open Mike
Blueprint for the future
Everyone that has been involved in
the process of building something under-
stands the importance of a blueprint. If
you look up “blueprint” in the diction-
ary, you will find:
blueprint
[bloo-print],
noun, 1. a photographic reproduction, as
of architectural plans or technical draw-
ings, rendered as white lines on a blue
background. 2. a carefully designed plan.
I was fortunate to attend the National
Pedigreed Livestock Council (NPLC)
meeting in Lexington, Ky., in May. e
NPLC represents an organization of
executive officers of various non-profit
breed associations of beef, dairy, goat,
horse, pony, sheep and swine species.
NPLC provides an opportunity for those
officers of different species and breed
groups to exchange ideas and learn new
techniques to fulfill their association
objectives. Over the years that I partici-
pated in the NPLC meetings, I’ve seen
the dedication of association members
and staff to develop the blueprint for
pedigreed livestock associations.
For the past several years, NPLC
has recognized the change in our as-
sociations, and realized these changes
in industry structure and economic
conditions have created the need for
many of our members to blaze a dif-
ferent path to remain relevant in their
chosen career. e driving force in all
livestock associations is attracting new,
young members to take ownership of
their respective associations and en-
couraging them to be involved in the
To contact Mike, use your smartphone to scan the code to the left or email him at
events, activities and services provided.
e NSR Vice President of Mem-
bership Services and Youth Develop-
ment Brian Arnold, served on a ‘Young
Breeders’ panel during the meeting.
Brian’s presentation,
Everyone Starts
Somewhere
, was a great one. As I reflect
on his presentation, the changes that
have taken place in the swine industry
over the past decades and the ability of
NSR to provide new opportunities for its
membership, the common thread seems
to be NSR’s ability to attract and retain
new, young members. is is directly
tied to the formation on the National
Junior Swine Association (NJSA), in the
late-’90s, and the opportunities it created
for members. Many of the young people
that participated in NJSA’s inaugural
years finished their time as a junior
exhibitor and now serve as ambassa-
dors for the purebred swine industry.
e NSR must appreciate the input
from these young people and embrace
some of their thoughts and ideas for the
future. I think many of us forget how
many young people became involved
in the purebred swine industry in the
late-’60s and ’70s. Most of these people
worked an off-the-farm job and ran 10-
15 sows at home because they wanted
to be involved in the purebred Duroc,
Hampshire, Landrace or Yorkshire busi-
ness. ese young people were welcomed
into the industry, and a common factor
mentioned by most of these breed-
ers today, was the fact an established
breeder took them under their wing and
invited them to travel to different type
conferences and breed events. e most
important part of this process, I feel, was
the time the established breeder and the
new breeder spent in the vehicle together
talking about the importance of build-
ing relationships. Several of these young
people had the fortune of making the
purebred swine industry their career,
but many remained in their off-the-farm
jobs and stayed active in our industry.
e industry continually evolves,
but I see the same opportunity today. I
know these young members are inter-
ested in the history of the purebred
swine industry and want to hear it from
the people that were directly involved.
Established breeders, it is your responsi-
bility to make the next generation better.
Please take the time to mentor one of
these young people, especially during
this upcoming show and sale season.
It is time to embrace the new
and young people that come into
our industry, so we can work on
the blueprint for the future.
“It is time to embrace the new and young people that come into
our industry, so we can work on the blueprint for the future.’”
10 • SEEDSTOCK EDGE
June 2013
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