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The Colorado 4-H Foundation provides positive youth development and education by raising and distributing funds in support of diverse Colorado 4-H programs.
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Colorado Pork Producers Council

The Colorado Pork Producers Council has been a long-time partner, advocate and supporter of 4-H in Colorado. Executive Director Joyce Kelly spoke with us recently about the organization’s purpose and mission and how it aligns so well with the 4-H program. 

What exactly is the Colorado Pork Producers Council? 

The CPPC was enacted in the 80s and what we do is support the National Pork Checkoff Program in Colorado. Every hog that is marketed or sold in the U.S. is required by law to do the checkoff — producers must pay into a marketing fund each time an animal is sold. Those funds are used by CPPC for industry research, education and promotion. 

What is CPPC’s relationship to Colorado 4-H?

That is part of the education aspect of our work. We work with different groups to promote education and 4-H is one of those groups. We’ve been supporting Colorado 4-H since before I came to CPPC about four years ago. 

How are currently supporting the Colorado 4-H Foundation?   

We help sponsor the State 4-H Leadership Conference every year, and we sponsor buckles and awards at Colorado’s county fairs by giving up to $100 per county. We also sponsor Colorado Junior Swine Association shows, trips to the National Junior Swine Convention and the Colorado’s annual Pork Academy, which brings students together to learn about showmanship, feeding, grooming and judging. 

Why is it important to you to support Colorado’s 4-H youth? 

We really believe that training people to be advocates for our industry is what’s going to secure our industry in the future. Our future is our youth. Colorado in the 15th largest swine producer in the U.S. with over 1,000 producers in the state. Of those about 90% are small producers and 4-Hers. When we talk about 4-H swine projects in the state, there are over 1,000 in Colorado. 

How does CPPS’s values align with 4-H values? 

Our mission is to do projects and programming that basically share the sustainability of pork for the world. We call it the “We Care Principles.” We’re educating in ways that are good for people, pigs and the planet.

We’re also starting a new program this year implementing coupons for youth to get their Quality Assurance Program Certification. Every animal that shows in the whole country has to have some kind of quality assurance training. We’ll pay for that testing along with teaching youth how to feed, vaccinate and what’s prohibited. 

For you, what is the most rewarding part of supporting our state’s 4-H program? 

We always say if you want to get involved, kids and animals are best way to do it. We really believe that nurturing livestock programs help people make better citizens and better stewards who care and understand life, death and responsibility. 

Were you or are you currently involved in 4-H programs? 

I was active in 4-H growing up and also worked as a high school ag teacher and extension agent in Jefferson county before coming to Colorado Pork Producers Council. 

Any parting/additional thoughts?

Please contact us at info@copork.org or 970-356-4964 to learn more about our organization or with any questions about our awards program. It’s a first come/first served process and they go fast!