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Showing posts from March, 2020

Practical biosecurity recommendations to prevent COVID-19 in farm workers and allied operations

The University of Minnesota Swine Disease Eradication Center recently released practical biosecurity recommendations in the prevention of COVID-19 spread in farm workers and allied operations.  These recommendations are given below in their entirety with permission from the Swine Disease Eradication Center.

A PDF version of the entire document can be found on UMN's College of Veterinary Medicine's website.  The document is also available in Spanish as well on the same website.
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus Disease 2019, also known as COVID-19, caused by the virus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a “person-to-person” disease. Efforts must be directed at protecting the health of personnel, and their families, involved in the care of animals, and supporting the operation of the farms, and the overall food production supply chain (e.g., feed distribution, feed mills, slaughter plants, truck drivers, etc). Ensuring the continued operation of swine far…

Podcast: Protecting the food system from COVID-19

In the latest episode of "At The Meeting...Honoring Dr. Bob Morrison", Dr. Montse Torremorell, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Gordon Spronk, Pipestone Veterinary Services, and Dr. Tom Wetzel, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica are joined by Dr. Jeff Bender, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota and have a conversation about:
Basics of Coronavirus and COVID-19 scienceSteps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the farmWhat it means to keep the virus from hurting people and affecting the food system.Listen to the podcast - Protecting The Food System: COVID-19 Prevention Steps for Farm Staff.

Who is considered an essential worker?

After Governor Tim Walz announced a Stay At Home Executive Order on March 26, 2020 directing Minnesotans to limit movements outside of their homes beyond needs, some of you may be wondering how this applies to you. To know who is considered an essential worker and is exempt from the stay at home order is based on federal guidance from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the U.S Department of Homeland Security with some Minnesota-specific additions. Food and agriculture is addressed on page 6 of this document.

You can also visit the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development's website to learn more regarding who is considered a critical worker.

Employee safety & continuity of business on farms

It is recommended for farms to create a COVID-19 plan that considers the following:
Farm Level Crisis plan - resource available on National Pork Board's websiteHave a critical industry employee authorization to travel letter for farm workersConsider OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" document when creating your Farm Level Crisis planRevisit farm's sick leave policy Consider cross-training employees Spread out the workforce on the farm by staggering shifts and breaks o comply with social distancing recommendations Clean and disinfect break areas after use Consider external factors such as school closings
Check out other COVID-19 resources on National Pork Board's website.

COVID-19 resources for your family

We all are currently inundated with information about COVID-19, also called coronavirus. This information we are exposed to is a mix of misinformation and trusted information. No matter where you are looking for information it is important that it is fact-based. Our colleagues in Extension family development have been helping individuals and families prepare for, and cope with, crises for decades. Visit their "Helping your family plan for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)" webpage. This webpage includes resources such as:
Steps to keep you and others healthyShare facts, not fearGuidance to make back-up plans for childcare, work, elderly family members and income lossLink to Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention resourcesLink to Minnesota Department of Health resources

Remember your neighbors and friends

This is a time of high stress and anxiety. It is important now, more than ever, to reach out to your neighbors and friends to check in on them through phone calls or virtual means, such as a virtual coffee visit. When checking on neighbors and friends be aware of the signs of stress. The Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH) at the University of Minnesota has some great resources for stress and mental health. Be sure to check it out!

Update on PQA Plus and TQA Certification Classes

University of Minnesota Extension has canceled all in-person events from Monday, March 16 - May 15, out of concern about the potential spread of COVID-19 virus. This includes PQA Plus and TQA certification scheduled for the following:April 15 - Worthington, MN - CANCELEDMay 13 - Hutchinson, MN CANCELED We did not make this decision lightly, but Extension takes the health of our participants and communities seriously. We will let you know as soon as possible whether PQA Plus and TQA will be rescheduled for the Worthington and Hutchinson location. Please watch our Facebook page for those announcements.

March 18th PQA & TQA Classes Canceled

All Extension in-person programming from March 16-31, 2020 has been canceled. This includes Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) and Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) certifications scheduled for March 18th in Morris, MN.

As an alternative, you can be granted access to complete PQA and TQA certification online. To do so, contact any of the following:
Diane DeWitte, Swine Extension Educator - stouf002@umn.edu or 507-389-5541Sarah Schieck Boelke, Swine Extension Educator - schi0466@umn.edu or 320-235-0726 ext. 2004Lee Johnston, Swine Extension Specialist - johnstlj@umn.edu or 320-589-1711 ext. 2117The cancellation of UMN Extension programming, including PQA & TQA is effective through March 31. Extension leaders will re-evaluate plans for future programs at that time.  As of now future PQA & TQA programming includes:
April 15 - Worthington, Biotech Advancement Center, 1527 Prairie DriveMay 13 - Hutchinson, McLeod County Fairgrounds, Country Diner, 840 Century Ave, HutchinsonExtension Pres…

Forecasting PEDv in the US through the use of machine learning

Reprinted as posted on Swine in Minnesota blog. Report written by Dr. Kim VanderWaal, Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine

Key Points

An ongoing project uses machine learning to predict PEDv cases in certain MSHMP participant systems.Machine learning is still underutilized in veterinary medicine, but offers great potential for the field.The predictions generated provide production systems and veterinarians with data based tools to aid in disease management. Machine learning is the use of algorithms and statistical models to recognize nuanced patterns in large complex datasets. In agricultural sciences, machine learning approaches have been applied to a myriad of problems. Continue reading about how machine learning is used to forecast PEDv in the U.S.

Need to know about official ID

Reprinted as announced in Minnesota Board of Animal Health's Animal Bytes January 2020 newsletter and website.

Before you prepare to order tags, remember, you need a state or federal premises ID number. You can register your premises online through the MN Board of Animal Health.

Producers can order metal silver NUES tags from Ketchum Manufacturing (minimum order 100 tags) by calling 800-222-0460 or National Band and Tag Company (minimum order 100 tags for producers) by calling 859-261-2035. Silver metal NUES tags may also be available from your veterinarian. In compliance with federal law, metal NUES tags must display the U.S shield if applied to an animal March 11, 2015 or after.

Veterinarians can call the same companies to order tags, and need to make a minimum purchase of 1,000 tags when ordering silver metal NUES tags from National Band and Tag. The Ketchum minimum order for veterinarians is 100 tags.

Premises ID Number (PIN) tags identify a sow or boar to the premises they were …

Swine Artificial Insemination Course to be held

University of Minnesota Swine Extension, in partnership with Minnesota Pork Board, will offer a one day artificial insemination of swine workshop.

Date: Saturday, April 4
Time: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Place: Southern Research and Outreach Center, Waseca (35838 120th Street)
Cost: $50 per person
Registration: Online on Minnesota Pork Board's website or by downloading the brochure.
Biosecurity: 48 hours (2 days) downtime from pigs prior to workshop.

Save the date - Animal Science Showcase

POSTPONED Due to the COVID-19, the Animal Science Showcase will be postponed to a later date. Stay tuned for future communications regarding this event Save the date and plan to join the Department of Animal Science showcase and celebrate the accomplishments of the faculty, students and alumni over the past year. This event is open to alumni, industry partners, students and stakeholders.

When: Wednesday, April 15
Time: 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Where: University of Minnesota, St. Paul campus Cargill Building (1500 Gortner Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108) Atrium and Seminar room

Manure Survey

Manure: Waste or Valuable Agricultural Resource?

Stories about manure often illustrate two opposing sentiments. Is manure a "Waste" that pollutes our water resources and creates undesirable nuisances for communities? Or, is manure a "Resource" that reduces the demand for importing greenhouse gas intensive inorganic fertilizers and improves the health of our soils?

Both statements contain some truth. However, the balance of the truth lies in the management choices made during the storage and utilization of animal manures. When using manure in cropping systems,

"How can manure's benefits be maximized and undesirable traits minimized?"

Recently published by Swine team members

Congratulations to the following swine faculty and educators from the Swine Extension Team who have had their work published recently.

Clarke, A. S., Horn, N., Shurson, G. C., Faulk, C. D., & Johnston, L. J. (2019). Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation to mouse dams in gestation does not affect birth weight variation or growth of offspring. Journal of Animal Science. 97, Suppl 3, 1211 (Abstract).

Nirmala, J, Bender, J. B., Lynfield, R., Yang, M., Culhane, M. R., Nelson, M. I., Sreevatsan, S. & Torremorell, M. (2019). Genetic diversity of influenza A viruses circulating in pigs between winter and summer in a Minnesota live animal market. Zoonoses and Public Health. Doi: 10.1111/zph.12679.

Episode 15: Effects of reduced nocturnal temperature on pig performance and energy consumption in swine nursery rooms.

Sarah Schieck Boelke, swine Extension educator talks to Lee Johnston, professor of swine nutrition and management and director of operations at the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center about research he collaborated on with colleagues at other universities looking at the effects of reduced nocturnal temperature on pig performance and energy consumption in swine nursery rooms.
Listen to the podcast:z.umn.edu/PodcastEpisode15(recorded February 25, 2020) Learn More About Research Featured in Podcast Presented at Farm Energy Conference June 17, 2015 (YouTube and PowerPoint)Article published in National Hog FarmerFebruary 20, 2014.Published in Journal of Animal Science, Volume 91, Issue 7, July 2013, Pages 3429-3435.