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Monday, October 31, 2016

Part I - Should I build my barn on top of the hill or at the bottom of the hill?


Andreia Arruda, DVM PhD – Reprinted as appeared in Swine Health Monitoring Project report (9/30/16)


Key Points:
  • Swine sites located in areas with higher slope showed reduced incidence of PRRS virus breaks.
  • The conclusion above took into consideration swine density of the area, herd size, geographical location (“area effect”) and production system.

 How did the idea come up?

During a meeting with a swine producer, managers and veterinarians, a question was brought up on whether new swine sites should be built in “the top of the hill” for cases where this is an option. A literature search revealed that the effect of land altitude in the occurrence of disease outbreaks breaks had never been explored for PRRS.

Part II - Should I consider planting trees around my farm?

Andreia Arruda, DVM PhD – Reprinted as appeared in Swine Health Monitoring Project report 10/7/2016


Key points

  • In the previous Science Page, we stated that sites located higher on a slope have lower incidence of PRRS compared to sites at the bottom.
  • In an extension of this same study, we determined that sites located in areas with shrubs and trees had reduced incidence PRRS virus compared to sites located in cultivated/ managed areas
  • The project took into consideration swine density of the area, herd size, geographical location (“area effect”) and production system

What were we investigating?

As previously mentioned, we used data from over 700 swine sites participating in the Swine Health Monitoring Project that shared weekly PRRS incidence data.

Responsible Antibiotic Use & Common Swine Industry Audit Workshops Planned

Two workshops are scheduled to help pork producers prepare for the upcoming antibiotic changes and the Common Swine Industry Audit.

  • November 10 – Mankato, Country Inn and Suites, 1900 Premier Drive
  • November 11 – Marshall, SMSU Conference Center, 1501 State Street
Responsible Antibiotic Use portion of the workshop will be from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., with registration at 9:30 a.m. and the Common Swine Industry Audit workshop will be from 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at both locations.

No cost to attend, but pre-registration is requested online through Minnesota Pork Board to ensure adequate materials are available. Attendees can register for the entire day or for just the antibiotic update or common audit portion.

2016 Farmland Rental Rates Workshops



Negotiating a fair rental agreement that satisfies the land owner and the farmer is a challenge. David Bau, Pauline Van Nurden, Gary Hachfeld and Nathan Hulinsky, Extension Educators in Ag Business Management, will provide several ways; by examples, factsheets and worksheets to determine a fair farm land rental rate for both parties.

Landlords, farmers, agri-business professionals should make plans to attend one of the informative meetings being held across Minnesota. These free meetings are being provided by the University of Minnesota Extension. Farm land rental rates have started to lower as corn and soybean prices continue to lower in 2016. Determining a fair farm rent agreement is a challenge in today’s economy with current significantly lower corn and soybeans prices in 2016 compared to recent record corn and soybean prices and record farm land values.

Position Opening for Swine Extension Educator



University of Minnesota Extension is recruiting for a Swine Extension Educator. Successful candidate will work with the other educators and faculty on the Swine Extension Team in working with pork producers and other industry professionals. The successful candidate will deliver educational programs while working with key collaborators. The focus of this position will be on pork production systems management. Consequently, the successful candidate must have the background and ability to address a wide range of disciplines and issues related to swine production.

Position location
: Marshall or Worthington Regional Extension Offices

Required Qualifications:

Master’s or Ph.D degree in animal science, agricultural engineering, reproductive physiology, agricultural economics or closely related field or DVM.

To see the complete position announcement and to apply visit: http://z.umn.edu/swineeducatorposition

Review of applications begins December 5, 2016; Position will remain open until filled.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Effect of Electrostatic Particle Ionization Technology on Swine Airborne Pathogens

Reprinted as posted on UMN Swine Disease Eradication Center's Swine in Minnesota blog.


Recent University of Minnesota PhD graduate Dr. Carmen Alonso in collaboration with Drs. Peter Davies, Bob Morrison and Montserrat Torremorell, published an article evaluating the electrostatic particle ionization (EPI) technology as a technique to reduce particle load in the air. The results showed that EPI was the most efficient when the system was close to the particle source and when the particle size was between 3.3 and 9µm no matter what swine pathogen was evaluated. This technique could be promising in decreasing the risk or disease transmission between swine facilities. Link to the full article.

FDA's Antibiotic Changes coming January 1, 2017

On the UMN Swine Extension website you will find fact sheets and a recorded presentation talking about the antibiotic changes.

  • FDA's Antibiotic Changes for Swine: What Pork Producers Need to Know
  • Swine Feed Medications Transitioning from Over-the-Counter to Veterinary Feed Directive Status
  • Swine Water Medications Transitioning from Over-the-Counter to Prescription Status

Promoting Health and Well-Being in the Immigrant Workforce in Agriculture

The Upper Midwest Agriculture Safety and Health Center (UMASH) will be holding their annual forum on September 29, 2016 from 5:30 pm- 8:30 pm at the Cargill Building on the University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus.

Immigrant workers make up about a third of the hired labor force in agriculture and are critical to the success of this industry in the Upper Midwest. Attend the UMASH 2016 Annual Forum for a discussion of the role of immigrant workers in a changing agriculture industry in the Upper Midwest and the importance of, and opportunities and challenges in ensuring their health and well-being.

This event is free and open to the public. Space is limited. Register by September 22, 2016.

Learn more and register online: www.umash.umn.edu/2016-annual-forum

Register Now for the 77th Minnesota Nutrition Conference

The Minnesota Nutrition Conference is a highly regarded and well known livestock nutrition conference in the upper Midwest. For over 75 years this conference has delivered leading-edge, research-based knowledge to advance sustainable production of beef, dairy, equine, poultry and swine.

Join us for the 77th Minnesota Nutrition Conference on September 21 - 22, 2016. Details are posted on the conference website including the Program Agenda.

Register now! See Registration Information for detail. Register online by September 14 for early bird pricing. Pre-registration is encouraged. Registration includes Pre-Conference Symposium, General Session, Species Sessions, 2 Lunches, Breaks, Reception, and 1 copy of proceedings (flash drive or print).

Get Registered to Attend the Allen D. Leman Conference

The Allen D. Leman Swine Conference is an annual educational event for the global swine industry. It is internationally acclaimed for bringing science-driven solutions to the complex challenges facing the industry. Each year hundreds of participants from over 20 countries attend the Leman Swine Conference held in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Join us for the 2016 Allen D. Leman Swine Conference on September 17 – 20, 2016. Details are posted on the conference website including the conference agenda. Be sure to check out the Pre-Conference Program.

Register now! See registration information for details. Pre-registration is encouraged.

Leman Conference will be held at the Saint Paul RiverCentre. See Conference Location and Hotel for lodging information.

Leman Conference is presented by College of Veterinary Medicine, and University of Minnesota Extension.

PQA Plus Advisor Training to be held in October

PQA Plus Advisors are the educators who work directly with producers to educate them on the PQA Plus program and will help producers obtain PQA Plus certification and PQA Plus site status at their respective production sites.

Upcoming PQA Plus Advisor training date and location:

  • October 11th - 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., U of MN Regional Extension Office, 1527 Prairie Dr., Worthington, MN

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Are There Differences in Survival Among Different Swine Corona Viruses in Feed and Feed Ingredients?



By:  Michaela P. Trudeau*, Harsha Verma**, Pedro E. Urriola*, Fernando Sampedro**, Gerald C. Shurson*, and Sagar M. Goyal**

*Departments of Animal Science and **Veterinary Population Medicine,
  University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN


The pork industry has recently experienced the devastating effects of swine corona viruses. The three known porcine corona viruses are transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV), porcine delta corona virus (PDCoV), and porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV). Each of these viruses causes severe diarrhea in young pigs and increased mortality, with subsequent reductions in growth performance and increased cost to producers. These viruses are excreted through feces and can be spread by contaminated equipment, personnel, and other fomites. After the 2013 outbreaks of PEDV in the United States, some evidence suggested that PEDV can be transmitted via contaminated feed and feed ingredients. In order to understand the role of virus-contaminated feed on its transmission, it is necessary to determine the risk of virus survival in various commonly used feed ingredients in swine diets. Our research team recently determined the survival kinetics of PEDV and PDCoV in complete feed and feed ingredients over time (Trudeau et al., 2015) and we have demonstrated that certain acidifying additives can increase inactivation of these two viruses in complete feed (Cottingim et al., 2015). However, no experiments have been conducted to compare survival kinetics of all 3 enteric swine coronaviruses simultaneously in feed and feed ingredients for swine. Therefore, the objective of this study was to measure survival time of PEDV, PDCoV, and TGEV in complete feed and feed ingredients.

Read full article.



How Much Floor Space do Heavy Market Hogs Require?


By: Lee Johnston, Professor* and Sarah Schieck, Extension Educator**

*West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris and **Regional Extension Office, Willmar
  University of Minnesota

Current floor space allowances for growing-finishing pigs were determined in research studies conducted 10 to 20 years ago using pigs that were marketed at a body weight of no more than 250 pounds. Currently, pork producers regularly market pigs that weigh over 280 pounds and often weigh 300 pounds. Given this precipitous increase in market weight, an obvious question is: "Do the old floor space allowances still apply for modern production scenarios?" The Minnesota Pork Board has provided checkoff funds to help answer this question in a series of two studies.

Beat the Heat - Ensure Adequate Cooling for Your Pigs


Summer will be here in full force this week with elevated temperatures and high humidity levels. Pigs are much more sensitive to heat than other animals because they lack the ability to sweat. Therefore, high temperatures can lead to heat stress and reduction in performance. If not done already, pork producers should take time to inspect cooling and ventilation systems for proper function and maintenance and review procedures for relieving heat stress in their pigs. Visit the UMN Swine Extension website for fact sheets titled How to Reduce Heat Stress in Your Pigs and Heat Stress on Swine - Impact on Production.

Re-Certification for PQA Plus Advisors - Updated Version of PQA Plus Coming June 2016

June 2016 the revised PQA Plus version 3 was launched at World Pork Expo. All PQA Plus Advisor certifications for PQA Plus version 2.0 will expire August 31, 2016, regardless of when an Advisor trained on the PQA version 2.0. Therefore all current PQA Plus Advisors must be re-trained. Minnesota Swine Extension in collaboration with Minnesota Pork will be offering six PQA Plus Advisor re-certification sessions throughout Minnesota. If you are a current PQA Plus Advisor, make sure you look at the schedule and register to attend an Advisor re-certification session before August 31, 2016.

The launch of PQA Plus 3.0 does not affect producers’ certification. The next time a producer is scheduled to re-certify in PQA Plus they will notice updates to the program and the site assessment component will be more in-line with the Common Swine Industry Audit.

PQA Plus Advisor – Re-certification Sessions­
**Note – these sessions are only for current PQA Plus Advisors who need to re-certify in version 3 and NOT for people wanting to become PQA Plus Advisors for the first time.**
  • July 20th Fairmont, MN – Fairmont Veterinary Clinic, 1275 Highway 15 South
  • July 28th Morris, MN – U of MN West Central Research & Outreach Center, 46352 State Highway 329
  • August 16th Saint Peter, MN – Swine Vet Center, 1608 S Minnesota Avenue

PQA Plus Advisor re-certification is scheduled from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at all locations with lunch provided.

Individuals wishing to attend must pre-register either Online (click here) or by contacting Colleen Carey with MN Pork Board at 1-800-537-7675 or at colleen@mnpork.com.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Women in Ag Quarterly Seminar

Ever wondered where to begin the farm transfer process or how to start the conversation? 

Join us for our summer seminar featuring Gary Hachfeld, Extension educator, who works in the areas of estate plans, farm transfers, and long-term healthcare. He will teach us about transferring the farm to the next generation and provide tools and examples to help you navigate the process. In addition, Susan Stokes, Farmers’ Legal Action Group (FLAG), will speak about ways to identify and work with potential successors.

DETAILS

When:    June 1, 2016
               9:30-10AM, Registration
               10AM-3PM, Program with lunch included
Where:  Willmar Regional Office
              Mid Central Research & Outreach Center
              1802 18th St NE
              Willmar MN 56201-2598
Cost:     $20, payment can be made day of event via cash, check, or credit card


REGISTRATION AND QUESTIONS

Register by May 30 by calling Mary Jo Fox at 320-235-0726, ext. 2001 or emailing foxxx055@umn.edu
 
For questions, please e-mail Betty Berning bberning@umn.edu, Pauline VanNurden pvannurd@umn.edu, or Lindsay Mutegi lindsay.mutegi@mn.usda.gov.

It's Time to Prepare for New Antibiotic Regulations

On January 1, 2017, the U.S Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) new antibiotic regulations for food-animal production will take effect. This new regulation affects not only swine, but all U.S livestock and poultry producers. As FDA aims to eliminate the use of medically important (to human illness) antibiotics for growth promotion purposes in food-animal production and bring therapeutic use in feed and water – to treat, control or prevent specific disease – under additional veterinary oversight.

The biggest change for pork producers, veterinarians, and feed mills will be the expanded Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) process. This means changing marketing status of medically important antibiotics from OTC (over-the-counter) to Rx (prescription for water meds) or VFD for feed medications. This change does not apply to injectable antibiotics. What this means is producers will need to talk with their veterinarian about using any antibiotics that fall under the new VFD requirement.

The Pork Checkoff offers USCARE as an easy way to remember the six key steps producers needs to complete before January 1, 2017 to ensure successful compliance with FDA’s new regulations for on-farm use of medically important antibiotics.


USCARE: Your Checklist for Antibiotic Success


  • Understand the new feed (VFD) and water (Rx) rules: As of January 1, 2017 only therapeutic use (treatment, control, prevention) for a specific animal health condition will be allowed under the direction of a veterinarian. Growth promotion of medically important (to human health) antibiotics will not be allowed.
  • Strengthen your veterinary/client/patient relationship (VCPR): Schedule periodic herd visits with your veterinarian and review health monitoring and herd health strategies.
  • Communicate with your feed mill: Ensure the mill personnel understand and are prepared to implement new VFD recordkeeping procedures for antibiotics and that stringent feed delivery protocols are in place.
  • Assess your herd health and welfare strategies: Sit down with your veterinarian to outline production and management changes to maximize animal health and minimize antibiotic use
  • Renew your commitment to responsible antibiotic use: Stay up to date with Pork Quality Assurance Plus certifications and make it part of your worker education program.
  • Ensure your record-keeping compliance: For producers, this means keeping copies (print or electronic) of VFD for two years and prescription records for one year.
For additional information about the antibiotic changes, visit www.pork.org/antibiotics.

Common Swine Industry Update Workshop

Are you and your farm ready for an on-farm audit? Did you miss Common Swine Industry Audit (CSIA) workshops held last Fall? Plan to attend a Common Swine Industry Audit (CSIA) workshop to get prepared for an on-farm audit. University of Minnesota Swine Extension is partnering with Iowa State University Extension to offer a free workshop to get you prepared for the CSIA.

  • Wednesday, July 6 – Sibley, IA, Osceola Community Hospital Wellness Center – 600 9th Avenue N., Sibley, IA
Workshop will be held from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Morning will be more informational with coverage of the 92 questions of the audit tool, which includes records, documents, and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that need to be available for the audit. The afternoon will be an optional time to work on SOPs. Attendees should bring a laptop computer if they wish to work on SOPs during the afternoon portion.

No cost to attend, but pre-registration is required. Register through the Iowa State University Cherokee Extension office 712-225-6196.

Attendees will be provided with a binder and a flash drive, including customizable audit materials for their farms.

Re-Certification for PQA Plus Advisors - Updated Version of PQA Plus Coming June 2016

June 2016 the revised PQA Plus version 3 was launched at World Pork Expo. All PQA Plus Advisor certifications for PQA Plus version 2.0 will expire August 31, 2016, regardless of when an Advisor trained on the PQA version 2.0. Therefore all current PQA Plus Advisors must be re-trained. Minnesota Swine Extension in collaboration with Minnesota Pork will be offering six PQA Plus Advisor re-certification sessions throughout Minnesota. If you are a current PQA Plus Advisor, make sure you look at the schedule and register to attend an Advisor re-certification session before August 31, 2016.

The launch of PQA Plus 3.0 does not affect producers’ certification. The next time a producer is scheduled to re-certify in PQA Plus they will notice updates to the program and the site assessment component will be more in-line with the Common Swine Industry Audit.

PQA Plus Advisor – Re-certification Sessions­
**Note – these sessions are only for current PQA Plus Advisors who need to re-certify in version 3 and NOT for people wanting to become PQA Plus Advisors for the first time.**
  • July 20th Fairmont, MN – Fairmont Veterinary Clinic, 1275 Highway 15 South
  • July 28th Morris, MN – U of MN West Central Research & Outreach Center, 46352 State Highway 329
  • August 16th Saint Peter, MN – Swine Vet Center, 1608 S Minnesota Avenue

PQA Plus Advisor re-certification is scheduled from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at all locations with lunch provided.

Individuals wishing to attend must pre-register either Online (click here) or by contacting Colleen Carey with MN Pork Board at 1-800-537-7675 or at colleen@mnpork.com.

Evening PQA Plus Certification to be Held


An evening PQA (Pork Quality Assurance) Plus certification training is planned for June 22 in Mankato, MN.

Time: 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Location: MN Pork Board Office, 151 Saint Andrews Ct. Ste. 810, Mankato, MN

Pre-registration is requested to Colleen at MN Pork Board at colleen@mnpork.com or call 1-800-537-7675.

PQA Plus and TQA Certification Classes Coming Up

Are you current with your Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus and/or Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) certification? Upcoming training and certification classes include the following dates:

  • July 20 – Marshall, MN, AmericInn – 1406 E Lyon St.
  • Aug. 10 - Waseca, MN, Southern Research & Outreach Center, 35838 - 120th St.
  • Aug. 17 - Morris, MN, West Central Reserach & Outreach Center - 46352 State Hwy. 329
  • Nov. 9 - Rochester, MN, MN University Center Rochester, Heintz Center - 1926 College View Rd. SE

PQA Plus certification is scheduled from 9:00 a.m. – noon and TQA from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at all locations.

For more information or to register for a course, go to www.mnpork.com and click on Farmer Resources to view PQA Plus and TQA certification schedule, or contact Colleen at MN Pork Board at colleen@mnpork.com or call 1-800-537-7675.

Recertify for PQA Plus and TQA Online

Remember you can re-certify for PQA Plus and TQA online. In order to do this, you must have been certified previously in the program you need re-certification in AND your certification in the program must still be current.

To re-certify online, contact, Sarah Schieck, UMN Swine Extension Educator – schi0466@umn.edu or (320)235-0726 x2004 or another PQA Plus Advisor or TQA Advisor to get access to the online
re-certification course. For TQA re-certification, online re-certification can only be done every other time that you re-certify.

Investigating an optimal seeder-to-naïve ratio for Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae gilt exposure prior to entering the breeding herd

By:  Luiza R. Roos*, Eduardo Fano**, Nitipong Homwong*, Brian Payne**, Maria Pieters*

*University of Minnesota; **Boehringer Ingelheim VetMedica Inc.


Considering the high replacement rate of breeding herds, and the fact that replacement gilts are usually from Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae negative sources, acclimation measures have to be taken into account when introducing these gilts into endemically infected herds. In this study the ideal seeder‐to‐naïve gilt ratio, or proportion of shedding gilts in a group, was evaluated for successful natural exposure to M. hyopneumoniae. Sixty gilts were divided in two groups, 21 2‐week old seeder gilts, and 39 aged‐matched naïve gilts that were exposed to seeders during a 4‐week period. Gilts were divided into six groups of 10 with different proportions of seeder‐to‐naïve, from 1:9 until 6 seeders and 4 naïve gilts. Naïve gilts were considered positive in the end of exposure if M. hyopneumoniae was detected on bronchial swab or fixed lung tissue, collected at necropsy. As result, 33% (3/9) naïve gilts were positive in the 1:9 ratio, 75% (6/8) in 2:8, 28% (2/7) in 3:7, 33% (2/6) in 4:6, 80% (4/5) in 5:5 and 100% (4/4) in the 6:4 ratio (Figure 1). Six seeder gilts, or actively shedding gilts, were required in a group of 10 for successful exposure to M. hyopneumoniae in a 4‐week period. However, M. hyopneumoniae was detected on laryngeal swabs samples of all naïve gilts in the ratio 5:5, implying that this ratio can possibility be used to achieve exposure of all gilts in the group in a longer period of exposure. This investigation is a first step towards a standard M. hyopneumoniae acclimation protocol.

Application of Social Network Analysis to Animal Welfare Requirements


By:  Yuzhi Li, Associate Professor, Alternative Swine Production

Animal agriculture has been shaped by the general public's concerns about animal welfare. The emergence of abnormal behaviors in farm animals, such as tail biting in pigs and feather pecking in chickens, not only can cause injuries, but can also compromise the health and performance of victimized animals. In the past, research has typically focused on removing physical stressors in order to improve welfare. However, thanks to recent funding granted from the Rapid Ag Response Fund, the WCROC will be studying tail biting from a social structure standpoint; we believe we are the first institution to do so. Social Network Analysis

Friday, March 11, 2016

Sarah's Vietnam Experience

Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Vietnam with the MARL Program. This is one of the reasons the Swine Extension Newsletter is coming to you a little later in March then I would typically send it out. My Vietnam trip was from February 19 – March 2nd. For those of you not familiar with the MARL program, MARL stands for Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership. It is a leadership development program for active and engaged adult agriculture and rural leaders offered in partnership through University of Minnesota Extension and Southwest Minnesota State University. I am a member of the current MARL Class VIII. MARL Class VIII traveled to Vietnam for our international experience. It was a once in a lifetime experience with all of the sites and learning opportunities we participated in. Below is a summary of just some of my experiences.

Our trip started in Hanoi, which is the capital of Vietnam and located in the Northern region of the country. In this area we saw many rice fields as we drove through the countryside. We even talked to a local rice farmer while she was planting her rice. She was planting rice by hand. The plot she was planting at the time was about ½ an acre and it had taken her about 3 – 4 days to plant ½ the plot. Three MARL Class VIII members got in the water with the farmer to try their hand at planting rice.

In the Ninh Binh area of Vietnam we visited a pineapple farm. The pineapple farm was the largest in Vietnam. The land was owned by the government, but farmers in the area had the job of tending to the pineapple fields. The family that tended the pineapple fields were very hospitable serving us tea, showing us their kitchen, which was detached from the house, and having what seemed to be endless time to share farming experiences with us.

Back in Hanoi we were able to spend a morning talking to four U.S Embassy Representatives in Vietnam serving as the Political Officer, Economic Officer, Environment, Technology and Health Unit Officer, and the Foreign Agriculture Service Officer respectively. We learned from these individuals that the U.S relationship with Vietnam is very strong. Vietnamese consider our relation as comprehensive, meaning they feel comfortable speaking to the U.S about all things. The good relationship was definitely experienced by the MARL Class VIII members as we traveled through the country and visited the various places. Vietnamese seemed very eager to build relations and learn from us.

After spending a third of the trip in the Northern region we traveled to Hoi An, which I consider to be the East Central region of Vietnam about 20 km South of Da Nang. Da Nang was once a huge U.S military base, but now a thriving coastal tourist destination and business center. Many of us bought the majority of our souvenirs in the market area of Hoi An which was full of shops of all kinds. The Hoi An market area has a long history of being the place centuries ago where merchants from neighboring providences brought their items to sell.

Also while in Hoi An we took a bike ride through the country past numerous rice fields, a large vegetable and herb garden, a few small corn and sugarcane plots, a duck farm, and grazing cattle. Our bike ride ended with a boat ride through what the locals called the jungle. This area was basically a water area with bamboo and palms growing in it. We were told during the war it was where the Vietnamese troops hid under the water while they breathed through the bamboo stalks, which they used as straws.

The last third of our trip was spent in the area of Ho Chi Minh City in the Southern part of Vietnam. Prior to the war Ho Chi Minh City was known as Saigon and still is referred to that depending on who you talk to. Some of the highlights from this part of the country were touring the Reunification Palace, Cu Chi tunnels, a hog farm, rubber tree farm, lacquer factory, and seeing an AO Show at the Saigon Opera House.

Reunification Palace is where the North Vietnamese Army crashed through the gates of the palace to raise their flag and end the Vietnam War. The Cu Chi tunnels were used during the war by the Vietnamese Guerilla to congregate and move from place to place while being undetected by the U.S military.

The hog farm for me was personally one of the highlights of the trip. It was very progressive for

Vietnamese standards both by terms of modernization and scale. The farm raised over 2,000 pigs per
year. The farm specialized in raising Landrace and Duroc boars. Similar to a barn office in the U.S, the farm we visited had a big white board with current production stats for the farm. A stat that caught my attention was their average litter size born alive of 10.25 piglets with 8.95 being their average piglets per litter weaned and 17.23 pigs per sow per year. I quickly asked how their sows farrowed, meaning in pens or crates. Although we were not able to tour the farrowing barn, the farmer told us the sows farrowed in farrowing crates similar to common practice in the U.S. The weaned pigs were finished in curtain sided cross ventilated barns with solid floors. The pigs were fed a typical corn soybean meal diet. The farmer said he raised some of the corn in his fields, but a majority of his corn soybean meal was imported. Manure was collected and ran through a methane digester. The solids were applied to the fields as fertilizer. I wish we could have spent a longer time at the hog farm because I have many more questions for the farmer. I know not all pigs in Vietnam are raised like we experienced on this farm, so it would have been nice to see a less progressive pig farm too.

Another highlight of the Ho Chi Minh City area was a boat ride through the canals of the Mekong
Delta. While we drifted through the canals we saw many boats carrying rice, rice hulls, sand, fruit and many other products. We made a stop to visit a fruit farm and a cottage factory. The fruit farm had numerous fruit trees growing various kinds of fruit such as limes, jack fruit, coconuts, pummelo, bong bong, quagac, and passion fruit. At the local cottage factory we witnessed people making coconut candy, puffed rice, rice paper, and rice wine.

Our trip concluded with a visit and tour of the TCIT (Tan Chang – Cai Mep International Terminal) Port. TCIT is a joint venture established in 2009 by Saigon Newport Corporation and three leading shipping companies. The terminal has service routes of Europe, U.S West Coast, U.S East Coast, China and Japan.

Overall I am glad for the opportunity to visit Vietnam through the MARL program. It was great to learn about agriculture in another country and further my leadership skills.

Looking to become a PQA Plus Advisor?


PQA Plus Advisors are the educators who work directly with producers to educate them on the PQA Plus program and will help producers obtain PQA Plus certification and PQA Plus site status at their respective production sites.

Two PQA Plus Advisor training dates are planned for NEW Advisors:
  • April 28th – 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Minnesota Pork Board Office, 151 Saint Andrews Ct. Ste. 810
  • October 11th - 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Worthington Regional Extension Office, 1527 Prairie Drive, Suite A
These PQA Plus Advisor training sessions are for new Advisors. Individuals wishing to attend the training session must meet the qualifications to become a Certified PQA Plus Advisor. Qualifications include:

  1. Be a veterinarian, Extension Specialist, or Ag Educator (for the purposes of PQA Plus, the definition of an ag educator is a person who spends full time in adult education or at least 50% time in production training)
  2. Have a D.V.M or B.S in Animal Science (or equivalent)
  3. Have two years of recent documentable swine production experience
The cost to attend is $50. Individuals wishing to attend must pre-register either Online (click here) or by contacting Colleen Carey with MN Pork Board at 1-800-537-7675 or at colleen@mnpork.com. Plan to pre-register no later than 7 days prior to the training to allow adequate time to complete application and for processing of application.

View Seminars from 2015 Minnesota Pork Congress

If you missed the seminars at MN Pork Congress this past January or simply want to review them again, you are in luck! Seminars were recorded and are available via SwineCast. Seminar recordings are available online: Click here.

Swine Production Seminar March 23 in Okoboji, IA

UMN Extension is co-sponsoring a swine production seminar along with Iowa State University Extension, Hubbard, and Elanco on March 23rd at Arrowwood Resort Conference Center (1405 Hwy 71) in Okoboji, IA.

Program highlights include:  "Triumph, a New Marketing Opportunity for Pork Producers", "Those that do it 'Best'. will get to do it!", "Nutrition, Research, and Technologies for the Future", and "Market Analysis and Outlook". The program runs from 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. The program is free to attend and includes a noon lunch. Click here for more information and to see the full agenda.


Need to Know for Common Swine Industry Audit

By Sarah Schieck, UMN Swine Extension Educator

I’m sure by now you have heard about the Common Swine Industry Audit (CSIA). If not, the goal of the common audit process is to provide consumers greater assurance of the care taken by farmers and pork processors to improve animal well-being and food safety. The audit tool builds on the existing Pork Quality Assurance Plus® (PQA Plus®) program and expands it to serve as a single, common audit platform for the pork industry and to minimize duplication of individual packers having their own audits.

At the 2013 National Pork Industry Forum, a producer-directed resolution charged the National Pork Board with exploring a credible, affordable solution to assure on-farm animal well-being. As a result the Industry Audit Task Force was created consisting of producers, veterinarians, animal scientists, retail and foodservice personnel and packer representatives from the major pork processing companies.

Highlights of the CSIA

Questions?
Sarah Schieck, U of MN Swine Extension Educator – (320) 235-0726 x2004, schi0466@umn.edu


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Analysis of How Growth-Promotion Antimicrobial Use Helps Public Health

By:  Peter Davies, UMN Professor

Antimicrobials are important tools for ensuring the health, welfare, and productivity of pigs raised for food. Banning of antimicrobial growth promotant use in Denmark, and subsequently more widely in the EU, has prompted many entities to seek more restricted availability of antimicrobials for food animals in the USA. The primary target for restriction is the use of low dose, long term administration of antimicrobials for "production purposes". Peter Davies' project evaluated the scientific evidence that low dose, long term use of antimicrobials in pig production augments public health risks from antimicrobial resistance.

Read further the specifics of Peter Davies literature review regarding antimicrobial use on the emergence of antimicrobial resistance in pathogens in commercial swine populations.

Get Registered for 2016 PorkBridge & SowBridge Programs

Don't have a lot of time to attend a seminar or conference, but are still interested in staying current with new research and management techniques in the pork industry?  PorkBridge and SowBridge programs allow managers and employees to increase their knowledge and skills without needing to leave the comfort of their home or farm office.  Both programs are distant education programs combining a presentation viewed on a computer with live presentations delivered by teleconference from topic experts at a scheduled time or via a recording if unable to participate during the scheduled time.

The difference in the two programs is the audience they are aimed at.

Common Swine Industry Audit Workshop: A Pre-Pork Congress Workshop

Are you and your farm ready for an on-farm audit? Plan to attend a Common Swine Industry Audit (CSIA) workshop to get prepared for an on-farm audit. University of Minnesota Swine Extension is partnering with Minnesota Pork Board to offer a free workshop to get you prepared for the CSIA.
  • Monday, January 18 - Minneapolis, Hilton Hotel - Room Marquette IV, 1001 S. Marquette Avenue
The workshop will be held from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Attendees should bring a laptop computer to work on Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) during the workshop.

No cost to attend, but pre-registration is requested by January 14, 2016. Register online or contact Sarah Schieck (320-235-0726 ext. 2004) to register.

The CSIA workshop will go through the 89 questions of the audit tool, which includes records, documents, and SOP that need to be available for the audit. Attendees will be provided with a binder and a flash drive, including customizable audit materials for their farms.

-Sarah Schieck, Swine Extension Educator

Looking Outwards to Strengthen our Pork Industry


By:  Pedro E. Urriola, Matt Allerson, and Bob Morrison


Individuals from the University of Minnesota are makingconnections with professionals in China who work in the pork industry by offering the Swine Leman Conference in China. The mission of the Swine Leman Conference is to educate and network with Chinese professionals involved in the pork industry by sharing information regarding latest management, disease, and production technologies of pork production.

Minnesota Pork Congress - January 19 & 20

Be sure to visit the University of Minnesota's swine group booth at Minnesota Pork Congress January 19 & 20. Minnesota Pork Congress is an annual event sponsored by the Minnesota Pork Producers Association and held at the Minneapolis Convention Center. A number of seminars are held throughout the 2-day event.

  • Highlights of this year's sessions include:
  • Water Regulations Update: Waters of the United States and Buffer Strips
  • PRRS & PEDV Control Proposal - Open Forum
  • The Future of Antibiotic Use: Are you, your feed mill and veterinarian ready for January 1, 2017?
  • Trade Update
  • Manure Applicator Workshop
  • PEDV in feed: What's new?
  • Swine Health Information Center Update: Preparing for potential and emerging swine diseases
  • To infinity and Beyond: Handicapping the prospects of animal agriculture from now until you die
Additionally, visit with individuals from the University of Minnesota swine group about current research and other swine related happenings at the college. Contact the Minnesota Pork Producers Association for more information at (507) 345-8814 or mnpork@mnpork.com.

University of Minnesota Social at MN Pork Congress

Join fellow CFANS (College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences) alumni and friends for the annual Alumni Social at Minnesota Pork Congress on Tuesday, January 19th from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm. This is a great opportunity to reconnect with your former classmates and network with CFANS folks in the industry you may have never met. Stop by, try some meat and cheese from CFANS's Meat Lab and Dairy Store, and spend time with friends new and old. Be sure to join the Facebook event. Details of the social can be found on the CFANS Alumni website. Be sure to RSVP if you are able to make it.
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