After 7 years at the helm of Indiana Pork, Mike Platt is stepping down. It has been a time of growth and significant change for the Indiana pork industry, and Mike Platt has been a strong voice and steady hand as the head of the state’s pork organization. Platt told HAT that, over the past 7 years, he has seen Indiana agriculture groups become more unified, “Everyone coming together in a much better way, a much more strategic way. I don’t thing Indiana agriculture has ever been this united.” He cited the work of the Indiana Family of Farmers as an example of this new working relationship. He added having many of the organizations all headquartered in the same office building has also helped build a closer relationship.
Much of this unity was in response to the increasing attacks by animal activists. Platt thinks, however, that ag has overreacted to the threat from PETA, HSUS, and others, “The amount of energy that is spent within agriculture fighting back against the activists against some of their concerns is disproportionate to the real concerns that the general public has.” He believes that projects like the Pig Adventure at Fair Oaks and the Glass Barn at the State Fair have gone a long way in reaching consumers in a positive way, “I think the general public understands what pork producers do; they understand why they do it. Once they understand that pork producers care for and respect their animals, then they are very comfortable with how things proceed.”
Josh Tranery will take over as head of Indiana Pork, and Platt feels the organization is well-positioned to meet the challenges of the future, “I think the big challenge will be making sure the needs of pork producers, the needs of consumers, and the needs of the community are all simultaneously met in a responsible manner. I think Indiana pork has a long history of meeting those challenges, and I think Josh is in a perfect spot to lead the organization into the future.” Platt will be moving on to join his wife in a publishing and consulting business. A symbolic passing of the ham took place between Platt and Tranery during the Pork Producers Ham breakfast at the Indiana State Fair. Platt was honored with a standing ovation by the pork producers and state ag leaders at that event.