Common Swine Industry Audit Emily Erickson, New Fashion Pork, and Brian Zimmerman, Zimmerman Hog Farms, provide a large and small operation point of view on having one or more Common Swine Industry Audits at their farms. Ms. Erickson shared her experiences of multiple audits and how each one has helped improve their operations and refine their approaches. Mr. Zimmerman said you can never be 100% and that each audit is an opportunity to learn and improve. Via the Q & A time Ms. Erickson and Mr. Zimmerman help explain their approaches and dealing with audits [video].
Feed Ingredients Eric Scholer, Vice President, Express Markets, Inc. shares insights on feed ingredients and the various global markets affecting the globe. Mr. Scholer says "I think the market for soybeans and meal will adjust lower after we get past the weather concerns and have a better understanding of the planted acres for the US crop." [video].
What Would the Grill Say? Checkoff Consumer Campaign Ceci Snyder, National Pork Board, shares the planning and activity around Pork Checkoff funded consumer marketing. Ms. Snyder shares examples of the summer and fall media campaigns, metrics, and what the goals are for the rest of the year [video].
U.S. Exports & International Trade Becca Nepple, National Pork Board, and Dr. Dermot Hayes, Iowa State University, provide highlights and details on the state of global trade. Two of the questions they address is "Why is the US Pork Market so Sensitive to Exports?" and "How long will the China opportunity last?" Dr. Hayes closes with two key points: The long run opportunities for US pork are enormous, especially if we continue to implement trade agreements, and over-reliance on China brings enormous risks (South China Sea, Steel, Chicken, DDGS, Self Sufficiency, Trump) [video].
Cybersecurity Dr. Lane Arthur and James Johnson, John Deere, share how cybersecurity will be an ongoing concern, even for farmers and ranchers. Technology use is pervasive and growing, being vigilant is important [video].
Changes on Antibiotic Usage - Preparing for Changes to Antibiotic Use Dr. Sam Holst, Swine Vet Center, provides specific actions on being ready for the Veterinary Feed Directive by January 1, 2017. Dr. Holst's main take away is to establish, today, your Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) and communicate frequently with everyone involved with your operations, including staff, management, feed mills, veterinarians, suppliers, and customers [video].
Changes on Antibiotic Usage - Background, Now, And January 1 Richard Sellers, American Feed Industry Association, highlights how the Veterinary Feed Directive idea was developed and where it is today. Mr. Sellers also explains the timeline and some of the current hurdles to being ready for January 1, 2017. His main take away is be proactive and be flexible [video].
Swine Antibiotic Stewardship Dr. Jennifer Koeman, Director, Producer and Public Health, National Pork Board, shares the ideas behind the "Nexus of Farming, Food and Public Health" as part of the stewardship of antibiotic use in pork farming. Dr. Koeman shares the antibiotic education, research, and communication that the National Pork Board is developing to help swine pork farmers. Key closing thought from Dr. Koeman is pork producers support the science-based principles to develop guidelines on antibiotic use having professional veterinary input for antibiotic use guidance [video].
Metagenomic Sequencing for Virus Discovery and Characterization Dr. Ben Hause, Kansas State University, shares information on using metagenomic sequencing for virus discovery and characterization. Dr. Hause points out some of the advantages of metagenomic sequencing over Sanger Sequencing and what data is made available from metagenomic sequencing. Dr. Hause talks about how metagenomic sequencing helps with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSv) research [video].
Antibiotic Update Dr. Dave Pyburn, National Pork Board, points out the changes around the Veterinary Feed Directive is a big change and that planning now is very important. His one key message: "Be Ready" for the new antibiotic changes and stay informed on VFD and related regulations [video].
Preparing for potential and emerging swine diseases: Swine Health Information Center Update Dr. Paul Sundberg, Executive Director, Swine Health Information Center (SHIC), shares an update on the first year of SHIC in operation. Dr. Sundberg outlines the Swine Health Monitoring and Analysis Group and the Swine Disease Matrix Project. Key messages include that trusted data sharing is a must for all producers to benefit, developing risk analysis models will help farm risk planning, and that close coordination between all parties is a must. Dr. Sundberg closes with the specific example of Seneca Valley Virus and how SHIC played a key part [video].
Genetics of Host Resistance to PRRS and PCV2 Dr. Jack Dekkers, Iowa State University, presents information around the genetics of host resistance to Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSv) and Porcine Circovirus Type 2 (PCV2). Dr. Dekkers presents data and research to use genomics to identify genes / genomic regions associated with resistance / susceptibility to PRRS virus infection. Some take aways: Vaccination-co-infection design is good model for PCVAD; and PRRS and PCV2b viremia controlled by different genomic regions with versus without vaccination [video].
Really Ready? Dr. Lisa Becton, National Pork Board, reviews US Foreign Animal Disease preparedness. Dr. Becton focuses on the big issue diseases, like Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Swine Vesicular Disease (SVD), and Seneca Valley Virus (because it looks like FMD). Take away: With increasing global commerce and travel, protection of the industry is more important than ever plus continue to work on “tying all the information together” for rapid decision-making and response [video].
An Industry Driven Solution to Implement ADT Dr. Patrick Webb, Director of Swine Health Programs at National Pork Board, provides insight in to how the Swine ID Plan works with the Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) rule. One of the key drivers is the value of pork exports and the need to have a robust swine ID system so as not to lose on exports. Dr. Webb shares a case study of a swine ID program and what they discovered about processes in place to help make decisions when a foreign animal disease occurs.
Have You Reviewed PEDV With Your Team? Dr. Paul Thomas, AMVC, provides a review of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV), specifically PEDV characteristics, introduction and spread in the US, impacts of PEDV, and controlling PEDV. Dr. Thomas details several of the key actions operations should take to prevent the spread of PEDV, focusing on cleanliness, sanitation, and strong biosecurity protocols. Key take away: transportation cleanliness is one area that is a must for all operations.
How Do Consumers Perceive Eating? Dr. Dustin Boler, University of Illinois, shares how seasonality and consumer perceptions play a part in pork quality. Dr. Boler also highlights research on pork meat and points out correlations observed between ham wights and belly firmness.
Real Pig Farmers Open Doors National Pork Board officer Brad Greenway with pig farmers Erin Brenneman, Thomas Titus, and Chris Soules (ABC’s The Bachelor and Dancing with the Stars), share their insight on how to reach out and connect with people who don't live, work, or connect with farms. A key conversation point each panelist aims to share is how to be transparent and listen to consumers.
More To Sow Lifetime Productivity? Dr. Chris Hostetler, National Pork Board, points out the definition of Sow Lifetime Productivity and provides data that challenges some of the traditional views of improving Sow Lifetime Productivity. Dr. Hostetler offers research that can help improve productivity. Key take away: Improvement in sow lifetime productivity will substantially impact profitability of all phases of production.
Do You Know About The Swine Common Industry Audit? Sherrie Webb, National Pork Board, outlines the background of why the Swine Common Industry Audit exists and what producers need to know. Ms. Webb's take away: "Change is the one of the few things that stay the same" - continuous staff training and education is needed to keep the practice of swine production top of mind.
What Happens When Animal Diseases Shut Down Production? Dr. Pam Zaabel, Iowa State University, provides details on the Secure Pork Supply Plan, its tools, and information it uses. Of importance to producers is knowing how it works and what steps production staff will need to learn.
What are Changes in Antibiotic Regulation? The U.S. FDA released new information on the use of antibiotics and agriculture. Dr. Jennifer Koeman, National Pork Board, and Dr. Harry Snelson, American Association Swine Veterinarians, break down the new changes and their implications. Dr. Koeman and Dr. Snelson also provide producers guidance points on what to do to prepare farms and staff.
Math Models Help Understand PEDv Dr. Shweta Bansal, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology at Georgetown University, provides an assessment of how mathematical modeling is used in understanding emerging swine diseases. Dr. Bansal digs into the data and assumptions used to produce a model to help answer questions about PEDv. Specifically, Dr. Bansal's team analyzed the role of movement in PEDv spread and provide an estimation of likely PEDv sources. Dr. Bansal closes with how these mathematical models can be used to highlight hot spot issues and allow organizations to better focus resources to solve disease spread issues.
Heat and Behavior Change Required Dr. Butch Baker, Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, shares the results of research on trucks used to haul pigs and how their cleaning protocols impact the spread of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv). Dr. Baker's key messages: Trucks need to be cleaned well and the people involved must be more rigorous. Also, truck washing facilities need to be prepared to support stricter protocols: the payoff is a reduction of herd infections.
Pork Commitment To Future Mr. Allan Stokes, Director of Environmental Programs, National Pork Board, runs through the issues of food for large numbers of people in 2050 and then focuses on the activity pork producers are taking. Mr. Stokes highlights the environmental value points that the National Pork Board is working to address in their "We Care" initiatives. Mr. Stokes also details the four pillars of environmental sustainability, which consist of the footprints for carbon, land, water, and air. Mr. Stokes closes with the outline for the "Sustainable Pork Framework".
Preparation Always Forefront Dr. Paul Sundberg, Science & Technology, National Pork Board, shares thoughts on the state of preparedness of pork operations for animal diseases, like porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv). While the mystery of how PEDv came into the USA is still unknown, discovery of PEDV has created the opportunity to implement and improve communication, coordination, and collaboration. Dr. Sundberg outlines the value of the Swine Health Information Center and the Center's next steps.
Aligning With Partners Sherrie Webb, Director Animal Welfare, National Pork Board, addresses the Pork Industry Forum producers about the Common Industry Audit. Ms. Webb provides a history on what issues and needs drove the Common Industry Audit creation. Ms. Webb highlights the program elements and the role of the Industry Audit Task Force in the implementation of the processes. Take aways: Audit tools are available for all to use and training is available. Additionally, audits are part of a comprehensive approach to having a quality industry.
Keeping Quality Updated Rob Christine and Dinah Peebles, National Pork Board, provides a background and history of the swine quality assurance programs. The team then details the Common Swine Industry Audit and the task force behind the initiative. One key take away: pork operation staff must engage with customers to gain an understanding of consumer perspectives and meet current marketplace expectations.
Heat Kills Dr. Tim Safranski, University of Missouri, highlights that the direct effects of thermal stress on pregnant females is just now beginning to be understood and that the true cost of heat stress is underestimated. This information is gaining the attention of researchers and funding agencies and creating action to address the issue.
Audits Are Part Of Quality Sherrie Webb, National Pork Board, outlines the Common Swine Industry Audit and the task force behind the initiative. Ms. Webb also outlines the how the audits plays into Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) and what farm operations should be doing. Two take aways of note: 1) Quality assurance processes are a must, and 2) Pork management and staff must engage with customers and consumers to gain understanding of perspectives and meet current marketplace expectations.
Being Vigilant Dr. Patrick Webb, National Pork Board, shares how planning and preparedness is being modified to be ready for the next foreign and emerging animal diseases. The emergence of PEDv required many plans and tools to be built from the ground up, which took more time than anticipated. Based on those PEDv experiences, Dr. Webb outlines the new frameworks and planning tools being put in place by industry, organizations, and government.
Transparency and Agri-Tourism Jon Hoek tells the background of Belstra Milling Company and its involvement in the Fair Oaks Pig Adventure. Mr. Hoek shares there is a paradox: Mandates for expedited timelines for perceived animal welfare gains may actually cause fatal unintended consequences for the pig. And this may be a tactic by activists to exploit the animal and question the ethical / moral validity of animal agriculture altogether. His challenge to pork farmers: Create courageous solutions to connect with consumers and be transparent.
Working on Our Preparedness Dr. Paul Sundberg, Vice President, Science and Technology, National Pork Board, outlines what the past porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) has done to change approaches to dealing with animal diseases. Dr. Sundberg details the Swine Pathogen Matrix Project and the changes implemented to work through swine diseases as they appear and staying prepared.
PEDv State of The Union Dr. Lisa Becton, Director of Swine Health Information and Research, National Pork Board, provides an update on porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) and the research that is currently happening. Dr. Becton also shares what has been learned and what processes have been created or changed to be prepared for future animal disease outbreaks. Key take away: Communication across, up, and down is a must.
Quicker Detection Needed Dr. Jeff Zimmerman, Iowa State University, asks "Are we ready for the next emergent disease?". While the swine industry is extremely efficient, Dr. Zimmerman believes there are vulnerabilities to the admission of diseases.
Transgenic Pigs in PRRSV Research Dr. Randy Prather, University of Missouri, talks about the idea of genetic engineering of pigs for PRRSV resistance. Dr. Prather shows the approaches to the development of the SIGLEC1 pigs that uses Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) to make CRISPR Bacon. Dr. Prather says some in vitro resistance to PRRSv infection has been identified but that challenge studies need to be done.
PRRSV at Herd Level Dr. Bob Rowland, Kansas State University, talks about the analysis of PRRSV immunity at the herd level. Dr. Rowland highlights the system of PRRSV within a nursery and how persistent it is. Dr. Rowland also provides background on the challenges to developing vaccines to PRRSV. In conclusion, Dr. Rowland says neutralizing antibodies participates in the control and clearance of PRRSV and that not all neutralizing antibodies are equal, responses can be divided into distinct groups.
Koch’s Postulates Fulfilled Dr. Dick Hesse, Kansas State University, shares the background of the discovery of the deltacoronavirus. While not a prominent as PEDv, deltacoronavirus is a pathogen and is out there, having been reported in at least 22 US states with continued reports being filled. Dr. Hesse says there still are many gaps in the understanding of deltacoronavirus, including biological and physical transmission.
Genetics of Pigs Dr. Jack Dekkers, Iowa State University, asks the question "Can the genetics of host pig be used to as part of an integrated strategy to control PRRS?" Dr. Dekkers outlines the current research and what approaches are being developed. Genetic selection for improved host response to PRRSv appears possible and can be an important component in the fight against PRRS.
What Is Reverse Genetics In PRRSV? Dr. Jay Calvert, Zoetis, talks about reverse genetics and how that is applied to understanding PRRS and PRRSV infectious cDNA clones. Dr. Calvert provides background on the science and tools that are applied to reverse genetics. Dr. Calvert closes with suggestions on how infectious clones can be used in the future.
What do consumers look for when they buy pork? Agritourism is a great opportunity to share a positive farming message with the public. Brian Martin, Jon Hoek, and Jarrod Sutton outline the Fair Oaks Pig Adventure and Dairy operations and its connection to the consumer public.
Working on Our Animal Disease Preparedness Dr. Paul Sundberg, Vice President, National Pork Board, outlines several of the lessons learned from the outbreak of PEDv. Pathway of introduction is difficult – at best; Corollary - Be prepared for the next one to come because it is coming; Better state-federal-industry response coordination is essential; and We can’t expect USDA alone to respond quickly and efficiently to the “next PED” in time to stop it. Corollary - Industry needs to be responsible for managing production diseases.
Connection Pigs To Consumers Jon Hoek, Belstra Milling Company, tells the story of Belstra Milling and how it is deeply involved in helping consumers learn more about pork production. Through the story of the Pig Adventure at Fair Oaks, Mr. Hoek explains the background and approach to gaining consumer understanding.
How Pork Producers Stay Sustainable Jamie Burr, Tyson Fresh Meats, shares ideas on what it means to help consumers understand pork, raising pigs, and maintaining business viability over time. Mr. Burr offers that information on what sustainability means for pork producers and how to help people learn more.
Understanding Pain Dr. Monique Pairis-Garcia, Iowa State University, and Dr. Anna Johnson Butters, Iowa State University, provide information on the science of pain in animals. In pork production there is concern from consumers about the practices of tail docking and castration. To understand the issue, there needs to be a body of knowledge about the practices and what they mean for pigs.
Better Swine Reproduction Tools Dr. Don Levis, Levis Worldwide Swine Consultancy, updates producers on the National Swine Reproduction Guide, its use, and how it works as a troubleshooting and management tool.
Data Helps Inform on Productivity Dr. Ken Stalder, Iowa State University, provides updates to this year's summary on pork production productivity. Utilizing anonymous data from 2008 to 2013, Dr. Stalder shares benchmark data points to help producers better understand the pork business and seek to improve their own operations.
Safe Handling Bill Winkelman, National Pork Board, talks about new research & tools to help producers handle pigs safely and responsibly. Mr. Winkelman demonstrates the new tools and approach that can be utilized on swine farm operations at all levels.
Looking For Clues Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) was an important topic during the 2014 World Pork Expo's Pork Academy. Dr. Lisa Becton, National Pork Board, provided a timely update on the PEDv research to date and outlines on future projects. Dr. Becton also outlined the history of the research and lessons learned on understanding PEDv [YouTube][audio][slides].
PEDv Science & Diagnostics Update During the World Pork Expo Pork Academy, Dr. Harry Snelson, American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV), shared scientific details of the U.S. discovery and understanding of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv). Dr. Snelson highlighted what is known today about the virus and how that information is being utilized by production farms, packing plants, and diagnostic laboratories [YouTube][audio][slides].
What Can We Learn? Paul Sundberg, DVM, PhD, Vice President, National Pork Board, suggests that there have been lessons learned but there are most likely more to learn. Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus in the US continues to be the focus of the pork industry and there are still operations getting infected. Dr. Sundberg shares key points: sharing data and analysis is key; producers are accepting that data sharing is part of the solution; and you can't be comfortable or complacent.
Pain: Abolishing a Necessary Evil Donald C. Lay Jr., PhD, Research Leader, Livestock Behavior Research Unit, USDA, talks about the notion of pain in animals and how research is being done to reduce or eliminate animal pain. New regulations, policies, and consumer demands are driving food animal producers to develop new approaches to raising livestock.
State of PEDv Lisa Becton, DVM MS DACVPM, Director, National Pork Board, reviews the current state of the PEDv research that has been funded. Dr. Becton provides an historical review and then outlines the focus on the research going forward. Key outcomes include communication tools development and use to insure all parts of the swine ecosystem have information to reduce the risks of PEDv.
Being Prepared For Anything Ms. Cindy Cunningham, Assistant Vice President of Communications, National Pork Board, helps explain plans in place to allow the pork industry to function if there is a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak. Ms. Cunningham also highlights the research on vaccinations in progress and what role communication plays in the event of a crisis.
If Not Vaccination, Then What? James Roth, DVM, Director, Center for Food Security and Public Health and Executive Director, Institute for International Cooperation in Animal Biologics, Iowa State University, talks specifically about foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccinations: its availability, effectiveness, and limitations. Dr. Roth uses the lessons learned from porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) to highlight approaches to handling animal diseases: what works and what needs adjusting.
Global Trade & Risk Thomas Kasari, DVM, Analytical Epidemiologist/Risk Assessment, Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health, USDA, APHIS, VS, STAS, is involved in the global channels that look at animal health risk analysis and assessments. Dr. Kasari talks about the methodologies used and how they are developed.
Virus Path To Farm Lisa Ferguson, DVM, National Director, Policy Permitting and Regulatory Services, APHIS, VS, National Import Export Services, shares an update on the Pathways Analysis Project, which is looking for potential pathways for exotic viral pathogens to come into the USA. The goal is to estimate the likelihood that each identified pathway may introduce exotic viral pathogens of swine into the USA.
How Will Residue in Food Testing Change? Dr. Steve Larsen, Director, Pork Safety at National Pork Board, provides information on the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service residue testing and outcomes research. Dr. Larsen also points out the coming modifications to the United States National Residue Program and what operational changes pork producers need to take action on.
Research Mind Set on PRRS Dr. Bob Rowland, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, offers his view that there will never be a magic bullet to conquer PRRS. Instead he has set forth to figure out how to claim back more pigs from the 10%+ lost production pigs PRRS claims.
PEDV is Here, Work Through It Dr. Dick Hesse, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, makes a point of emphasizing that "Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV) Is Here - Ready or Not". PEDV, Dr. Hesse thinks, is a disease for which we had lots of warning but pretty much ignored it. Dr. Hesse describes research that is being run to better understand PEDV, how to approach detecting and reducing its impact. Dr. Hesse summarizes how PEDV spreads and what approaches to vaccine development is being done.
Controlling Feed to Control PRRS? Dr. Thomas Burkey, University of Nebraska, shares information on two swine nutrition & porcine reproductive & respiratory syndrome (PRRS) related research and what they discovered. Dr. Burkey offers actions operations can be taken with nutrition as it relates to PRRS sick pigs.
Being Prepared & Training to Prevent PEDV? PEDV (porcine epidemic diarrhea virus) is a key issue for pork producers. Dr. Lisa Becton, Director of Swine Health Information, National Pork Board, provides an update of the history of discovery and what is known to date.
Dr. Becton summarizes the resources available for all involved plus points out key ongoing lessons from the PEDV experience. Dr. Becton offers thought on how to apply the lessons to future animal disease monitoring and management.
How Can Pork Producers Do Better? This panel with Dr. Lisa Becton, Dr. Montserrat Torremorell and Dr. David Wright aims to answer questions and concerns from pork producers. Topics covered include truck washing issues/biosecurity at packing facilities, PEDV issues in the US vs in Europe & Asia, and how diseases should be reported in the future.
Swine Influenza and Fairs Dr. Jennifer Koeman updates with how the National Pork Board is supporting the surveillance, education, and awareness campaigns around swine influenza. Dr. Koeman presents a historical perspective on swine influenza and pork economics plus how past experiences are being integrated into response plans. She concludes with observations that there is continued focus on improving swine health and monitoring for influenza and that biosecurity is important to minimize influenza transmission.
Nutrients For PRRSv Pigs In this National Pork Board research, grow-finisher pigs are looked at to better understand how to feed sick pigs. The aim of the research was look at how immune challenges alter feed intake and digestibility and if sick pigs have altered nutrient requirements.
Keeping Productive Dr. Ken Stalder, Iowa State University, presents a productivity analysis of the pork industry using data from 2007 to 2012. Dr. Stalder identifies key types of swine production that are benchmarked from the data and highlights trends. This analysis is planned to be updated yearly with another year's worth of data and presented at key swine management meetings.
Reproductive Decision Tree Dr. Don Levis, Levis Worldwide Swine Consultancy, provides and update on the development of the National Swine Reproduction Guide. This web application guide, with the input from nearly 20 researchers at the major state agricultural universities, USDA-ARS and related businesses, will assist producers in finding solutions for reproduction issues on their farm. Dr. Levis highlights some of the guide's features and how it will operate.
Which Way Is Up? Dr. Steve Meyer, Paragon Economics, says key issues in coming months will be input and production costs; demand; output levels for 2013 and 2014; and prices and margins. He reminded people that in 2012 he said if it rains we have $4 corn and if it doesn't we have $8 corn - and that everyone heard the first part and nobody heard the second part. In summary Dr. Meyer says that corn belt rains have been good, now we need some warm dry days.
Group Sow Housing Designs Dr. Don Levis, Levis Worldwide Swine Consultancy, in this first of three sow housing presentations, provides descriptions of the major group sow housing systems, presents the factors involved with deciding which group-housing system to use, and sets the stage for the following presentations to examine retrofitting barns.
Stall Space and Orientation Dr. Ron Bates, Michigan State University, in this third and final sow housing presentation, provides a walk through on the space and pen orientation changes needed to support converting to non-gated stalls. Dr. Bates details some of the space calculations that need to be made plus the sow rotation methods needed to supported the new configurations.
Pork Export Touch Points Various experts provide an update on the impacts of exports on pork producers. The speaker series includes Becca Hendricks, National Pork Board; Dr. Paul Sundberg, National Pork Board; Laurie Hueneke, National Pork Producers Council; and Dr. Dermot Hayes, Iowa State University. The US is the largest exporter of pork in the world, passing the EU as top exporter in 2012. With the US pork producers exporting 27% of their products, any policy shifts or regional changes can have a large affect on the US pork business. Of note are comments by Laurie Hueneke (NPPC) on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Dr. Hayes' comments on the impact of trichinae restrictions.
Consumers Need Information Dr. Marcos Rostagno, USDA/ARS, provides an overview of food safety and food safety analysis. Food safety is a subject that needs to encompass food security, animal welfare, and environmental impact. The population is growing, more land is required, and demand for certain types of food vary by global regions. Dr. Rostagno's take aways: Broad consumer understanding of food safety is continuously feed by media that does not always provide facts but focus on stories that sell the media. Consumer education is urgently needed!
Does Being More Efficient Equal More Money? Dr. Joel DeRouchey, Kansas State University, shares research and practice around feed efficiency. He leads with the question he hears a lot "If I have a better feed efficiency do I make more money?". Dr. DeRouchey aims to address this stating that, with today's feed prices, it is not possible to have maximum feed efficiency and make money. Dr. DeRouchey presents information that looks at all the factors of making money by looking at group economics, by looking at feed make up, to market delivery, milling, supplements, and barn management.
Animal Disease Outbreaks and Checkoff Groups
Dr. Patrick Webb, Director of Swine Programs – National Pork Board; and Dr. Sebastian E. Heath VetMB PhD, Branch Chief for Program Development - FEMA, provide perspective on the need to continuously be alert for issues and develop people to be ready in an animal disease emergency response situation. One of their critical roles is to meet with producers to learn of their needs and issues plus provide educational directions with respect to animal disease preparedness.
What Happens If a Disease Outbreak Occurs? Dr. Patrick Webb, Director - Swine Health Programs, National Pork Board, points out the choke points in the process of an animal disease outbreak occurring. Dr. Webb goes through specifics of how an outbreak is monitored and managed over time. He recommends that farms provide accurate information, have secure supply plans, and that industry continue to provide duration and resources.
PRRS Working Group Update Dr. Lisa Becton believes that PRRS is at a crossroads after 20 years of work. She talks about the future of PRRS and presents several views of PRRS' focus. Dr. Becton asks the audience if management, control and/or elimination of the virus, and how funding models will be created to support one or more of the focal points. She mentions there is continued National Pork Board support for PRRS elimination, as reaffirmed by the Swine Health Committee. To close Dr. becton highlights the 2014 plan of work.
How Secure Is Our Food Supply Chain? If Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) were to appear in the US, what would farmers, ranchers, and business do? This presentation reviews the Secure Pork Supply Plan, who is involved, what needs to be done, and how producers need to develop their biosecurity plans [video]? Related: Secure Milk Supply Project Update - An update on the status of the Secure Milk Supply Project supplemental to ongoing Foot and Mouth Disease prevention and response planning with Dr. Pam Hullinger, currently with UC-Davis Department of Veterinary Medicine and Epidemiology [audio].
What Do Consumers Think? Jarrod Sutton, National Pork Board Assistant Vice President, Foodservice, Retail and Channel Marketing, provides insight on the business side of selling meat. Some of the factors that play into meat pricing is how consumers perceive products and how they feel about animal welfare plus agriculture sustainability efforts. Jarrod also shares some of the conversations he is involved with in and around the food retail companies, trying to understand their efforts to bring reliable and usable information to consumers.
Sow Lifetime Productivity Improvements Dr. Chris Hostetler, National Pork Board, over the last year has developed a research plan to look at sow lifetime productivity. The metric has some challenges with many variable ecosystem inputs. With feedback from others in the swine industry, Dr. Hostetler has put in place a plan to understand sow lifetime productivity, how to measure the various factors, and outline a strategic initiative focus on improving lifetime sow productivity.
Science and Study of Group Sow Housing Dr. Ed Pajor, University of Calgary, outlines the current research on swine sow housing and the motivations for the different types of housing types. He also outlines some of the directions sow housing is taking and what the swine industry needs to learn so as to adopt these types of changes.
Remember, It's All About the Sows With increasing production costs due to labor, feed, and other external factors, Dr. Stalder approaches improving efficiencies by through sow longevity and sow genetics. Several take aways: Many traits genetically correlated with sow productive lifetime and can be improved through selection; We cannot ignore the people factor on any production process including pork production; and caretaker skills / stockmanship / management ability, effects on the sow productivity cannot be underestimated [video].
Taking PRRS Out of the Breeding Herd PRRSv costs US swine industry $664M. With this level of impact on the economics of pork production, much effort has gone into understanding the disease and how best to eliminate the virus. Bob Morrison, D.V.M., University of Minnesota, shares procedures for taking PRRS out of the breeding herd and presents data as to the effectiveness of these procedures [video].
What is it with the Grain Situation?I am NOT opposed to ethanol. I do prefer it aged in oaken barrels or pretty glass bottles! sums up how Dr. Meyers feels about corn used in ethanol. This presentation (with lots of charts for the data included) shares some other thoughts about the markets, grain, and the future of animal feed [video].
How is Weather Playing A Part in Agriculture? High temperatures across the USA have been a departure from the 1981 2010 average. The persistent heat from the summer of 2011 had more than 70 days over 100 degrees in some spots across the USA and every state has had temps over 100 degrees. What are the impacts on agriculture going forward? What should we do? [Video] [Photo Watts Up With That?]