Joyce Kelly will preside over her first annual meeting as executive director of the Colorado Pork Producers Council on Nov. 21 in Brush.

Joyce Kelly will preside over her first annual meeting as executive director of the Colorado Pork Producers Council on Nov. 21 in Brush.

Kelly has a background in conservation and water issues. She started her new position with the pork producers in September.

She plans to focus her efforts on producer education and market development, she said from her home office in Lucerne.

She and her husband run a diversified farm near Greeley comprised of corn and rotational crops including sugar beets, edible dry beans, wheat and alfalfa.

Most of Colorado’s pork production is concentrated in two areas: Yuma County, which ranks 23rd in the nation, and in the Las Animas area, she said. The state’s farms are mostly medium to large sized but there are several small producers as well.

The council is funded with a share of the proceeds collected through the national pork check-off program.

The featured speaker at the upcoming meeting in Brush will be State Veterinarian Keith Rohr. He will give an overview of disease issues affecting the pork industry.

Seneca Valley Virus is one disease that has started getting more attention this fall.

It produces symptoms that are similar to hoof and mouth disease but is not fatal. The animals will get blisters and sores along with a fever but typically recover within nine to 11 days.

According to the Swine Health Information Center in Iowa, so far in 2015 only about 20 to 30 cases have been confirmed nationwide, but that’s well above the historical norm of two or three cases a year.

While not considered a production limiting disease, it does have potential to cause disruptions.

“When they get to the slaughter house, if the pigs are showing symptoms, they won’t slaughter them,” Kelly said. “Our state veterinarian just wants to educate people about it.”

Managing diseases is crucially important to the industry. Some areas of the state are still recovering from a devastating outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhea that struck in early 2013 and peaked in the winter and spring of 2014, Kelly said. Southeastern Colorado was particularly hard hit.

Election of board members will also be held during the meeting, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Morgan County Fairgrounds.

Kelly said the board is considering a proposal to hold next year’s annual meeting in conjunction with the hog show at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo.