“People, Pigs, Planet: Sustainable Farming” is an excellent slide presentation offered to us by Mary Kelpinski , CEO of the Michigan Pork Producers Association. In addition to passing out recipes and cooking suggestions, Mary pointed out that pork production has increased 84% in the last several years while there was a simultaneous 74% decrease in the amount of land use for that production. While most pigs are raised inside buildings now, allowing for increased control of healthy nutrition and for decreased transmission of disease from pigs to humans (think “swine flu”) and vice versa, this allows managed growth (from 2-3 pounds to marketable 270 pounds in 36 months!) of lean meat (pigs had 3 inches of back fat in the ’40s and now less than 1 inch). Less than 2% of farmers, most still on family farms, feed 9 billion people while using technology to conserve and recycle resources, reduce the “pig farm” negative elements (pigs account for less than “1/3 of 1%” of problematic emissions) and improve the economy: China consumes more pork than any other country and has had a 30% loss of their livestock due to a confined disease, and 25% of Michigan is exported but the “tariff-related” $8 per pig cost to farmers is “hamstringing” the process. Ms. Keplinski will be presenting all this information to Washington honchos next week, and we wish her well.

Today’s 16 attendees came to the tables on cue from President Phil Holmblade, who then had John Losinski lead the Pledge and Ken Cullen Sr. give the invocation. Long-time member Ron Polsgrove came to the meeting this morning with his son Russ, but the excitement of seeing Ron again was dampened by his announcement that Ellen Venos (beloved wife of another long-term member Peter Venos) passed a day earlier. (Funeral was Saturday, and Steve Schlott passed a card around for Club signatures.) Steve discussed CANUSA events, including the upcoming dinner at Flint Golf Club on Friday, September 13th. (Mic Goulet said that he would take the information and try to attend on behalf of the Club.) Ken Cullen puffed up his chest about his grand-daughter being the “#5 setter in the nation” on one of the “top 25” volleyball teams nationally. Mic reminded us of the Widder Golf Outing coming up next week, noting that hole sponsorships and teams slots remain available.

When fines opened to keep our speaker entertained and the rest of us alert, “King” Jeff Dennings fined Steve Schlott for “instigating” by prompting Prez Phil to ring his bell, and a fine against the Prez for having a cheap watch, attempted by Greg Hilliker, did not pass. (Shock!) Ken Cullen assessed a fine against Ron Polsgrove for not paying any fines recently, John “J-Lo” Losinski fined Ron for not having an “optimistic” response despite his “Optimist of the Year” domination, Ron fined Prez Phil for losing control of the meeting, Ken passed one against people “eating before the King”, Bill Hentgen tried to pass one because he did not get enough attention for “wearing a tablecloth to breakfast”, and paid another for clashing with Jack Medemar‘s shorts, and Phil paid “for eating a cold breakfast” before Steve Schlott won and then donated the “50/50 Drawing” pot.

Until next time, “Promise Yourself…”