Pork Industry Innovation Challenge - Pork Checkoff

Pork Industry Innovation Challenge

The Pork Checkoff is launching the first-ever Pork Industry Innovation Challenge to encourage individuals and companies to help solve some of the biggest challenges facing the U.S. pork industry.


2022 Challenge: Foreign Animal Disease Mortality Management

The focus of this challenge is foreign animal disease mortality management. Specifically, the pork industry is seeking new and innovative methods of pig mortality disposal. These methods could be used on farms if there were to be a foreign animal disease outbreak, such as African swine fever, in the United States.

New and innovative methods would go beyond the existing methods of burial, incineration, composting and landfills and provide pig farmers with more options for pig mortality disposal if needed.

Top innovators can receive up to $46,000.

Help Find Innovative Solutions

Pig farmers are innovators and recognize the unfortunate need for practical, cost-effective, and environmentally sound plans for pig mortality disposal as part of foreign animal disease preparedness efforts.

Having these plans and solutions in place can help support pig farmers and their ability to continue operating. America’s pig farmers are looking to plan even for the most unfortunate of circumstances.

Practical, Sustainable, On-Farm Solutions

Ideal solutions will solve the mortality disposal challenge and protect air/water quality, improve soil health and nutrients, and help with the overall sustainability of all natural resources.

Successful submissions will be trialed as a pilot project to demonstrate how they can support pig farmers t in mortality management. Ideas need to focus on solutions that keep all disposal protocols on a producer’s single farm location.

Solve the Problem, Get Rewarded

The Pork Industry Innovation Challenge is an incentivized forum that’s designed to foster novel solutions using a non-traditional approach.

Those who successfully submit ideas through the challenge’s four tiers get increasing monetary awards, meaning top innovators can receive up to $46,000.

Global Threats are Looming

Global animal disease threats such as African swine fever have now reached the Western Hemisphere putting the U.S. at even greater risk of a foreign animal disease.

This is another reason why America’s 60,000 pig farmers need proactive, innovative solutions to deal with pig mortality disposal should the need arise.

America’s Pig Farmers Need You!

Even if you’ve never worked in the ag space before and know little about pork production, the Pork Industry Innovation Challenge is interested in what you can bring to the table to create a real innovative solution to a major issue facing America’s 60,000 pig farmers.

It’s a challenge that promises to not only offer a unique opportunity to showcase your creative problem-solving, but also to gain industry-wide appreciation—along with a potential financial reward of up to $46,000. All it takes is a few minutes and a short description of your idea.

How Do I Enter?

Submit a 500-word overview of an innovative on-farm mortality disposal method you’d recommend the pork industry consider and a brief overview of how it would work. Click here to read about current emergency disposal methods used when necessary.

Entry ideas must be “novel” or be a “significant” improvement of an existing method which saves time, money, labor, inputs, etc. Applications that recommend one of existing methods with no significant improvement will not be considered.


Key Facts About The Challenge

The entry period runs from February to July, 2022.

The challenge is open to all companies, students, and residents, including producers.

Applicants must be 18 and legal residents of the United States at the time of entry.

Each applicant will be limited to two (2) entries. Each entry will be judged separately.


Successful Innovators Will Navigate Through Four Tiers

Tier 1: Provide a plausible idea for on-farm mortality disposal that can be designed into a small-scale pilot project. Award for passing Tier 1=$1,000

Tier 2: Successfully execute a small-scale project from idea. Award for passing Tier 2=$5,000

Tier 3: Successfully design a large-scale pilot from idea. Award for passing Tier 3=$10,000

Tier 4: Successfully execute a large-scale pilot from idea. Award for passing Tier 4=$30,000

National Pork Board, through the Pork Checkoff, will notify applicants by Oct. 31, 2022 if they have moved on past Tier 1 of the challenge. Prize money for moving past Tier 1 will be distributed by Dec. 31, 2022.

Contact Us With Questions

Read Official Rules

Submit Pork Industry Innovation Challenge Entries Here

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