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Showing posts from May, 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.


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


Register by May 30 by calling Mary Jo Fox at 320-235-0726, ext. 2001 or emailing

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.


Common Swine Industry Audit 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 …

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 ver…

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 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. 329Nov. 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 and click on Farmer Resources to view PQA Plus and TQA certification schedule, or contact Colleen at MN Pork Board at 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 – 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, col…

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.