Who: The National Swine Research & Information Center (NSRIC), formed to provide an information center for the pork industry, existed as a cooperative arrangement among multiple public and private entities, including the USDA/Agricultural Research Service, Iowa State University and other land grant universities, the National Pork Board, the National Pork Producers Council, and Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) of USDA.

Opportunity: For nearly 10 years this regional cooperative effort had floundered, unable to realize its vision of regionalized teaching, research and extension services for the pork industry. The partners who established the Center continued to believe in the strength and concept of a collaborative approach. However, despite repeated good-faith attempts by other consultants and industry giants, they were unable to articulate a common understanding regarding mission, governance and operations -- to the point that NSRIC existed only as the name of a building. TPG Management Solutions was invited to facilitate a process that would help NSRIC bring clarity and focus to its vision, mission, principles, governance and goals.

Outcomes with TPG: TPG conducted strategic research, provided executive counsel, facilitated organizational development analysis and planning, and led a two-day strategic articulation/visioning session with key NSRIC stakeholders and other influencers were invited. Encouraging innovation and emotional ownership from all parties, TPG helped to paint a future-cast picture of the organization, build consensus among its collaborators and facilitate break-through thinking and an action plan that received 100% support from the group.

As a result, the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence was established as an organization, with a renewed sense of purpose, focus and collaborative energy. Today the initiative is based at Iowa State University and is being further developed and funded by the USDA and the National Pork Board with financial assistance from a consortium of industry and fourteen Colleges of Agriculture.


“The U.S. Pork Center of Excellence as designed with TPG assistance serves as a model for joint efforts to bring greater efficiency and synergy to the land grant university system.”

Quote Provider
- Wendy Wintersteen, Dean, ISU College of Agriculture