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Showing posts from September, 2020

Safety on the swine farm should never be taken for granted

  By Diane DeWitte, swine Extension educator. Originally printed in The LAND - August 21/August 28, 2020. September is a busy and favorite time of year for all of us in agriculture. Harvest is near, there’s a lot to be done in crisp fall weather, and most farm families are working through repeated long days and short nights. September always includes National Farm Safety & Health Week, and this year it will be September 20-26 with the theme: Every Farmer Counts. With that in mind, it’s a good time to review some of the most important safety issues facing swine producers. SWINE FARM SAFETY EQUALS SPECIAL CHALLENGES Livestock farmers must address different types of farmer safety issues beyond those of the modern crop producer. When working with swine, caretakers deal with an intelligent, gregarious being with a long memory. Calm treatment and regular positive interaction quickly establish the pigs’ good behavior habits. A 2006 12-week study showed that when a human walked throu

COVID-19's impact on Minnesota pork industry

It’s no surprise that COVID-19 had a huge impact on Minnesota’s pork industry. University of Minnesota Extension Senior Economic Impact Analyst Brigid Tuck, Ag Economist Joleen Hadrich and Ag Business Management Educator Megan Roberts researched COVID-19’s impact on Minnesota’s pork industry. Read the full hog report or a summary of the conclusions.

Allen D. Leman Conference

Join us for the 2020 Allen D. Leman Swine Conference on September 19 – 22. Due to COVID-19, this year’s conference will be completely online! Details are posted on the conference website . Register now! Early bird registration has ended, but registration is still open. Register online to pay by credit card or register via alternative payment if you need to pay by check or have the fee billed to your organization. Registration breakdown is: general $300, graduate student $125 and DVM student $25. The Leman Conference is presented by College of Veterinarian Medicine and University of Minnesota Extension.

Funds available to update livestock operations

Minnesota Department of Agriculture is encouraging livestock farmers in the state to apply for the Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation (AGRI) Livestock Investment Grant program. The AGRI Program’s Livestock Improvement Grants encourage long-term industry development through investment in facilities, infrastructure and equipment. Applicants may apply for up to 10% of their project’s total cost. Grant awards can range in size from $400 to $25,000. Each livestock operation is eligible to receive a lifetime maximum of $50,000 from this grant program. Applications of project proposals are due November 4, 2020 by 4 p.m. Applicants are encouraged to apply online , with applications provided in alternative formats if needed. Visit the AGRI Livestock Investment website for more information.

MDA's grain bin cost share program

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is leading an effort to make safety more affordable. A new cost share program is available for farms looking to install safety equipment on grain bins and silos.  Learn more about this cost-sharing program, and access grain bin safety resources on UMASH’s (Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center) website.

Recently published

Congratulations to the following swine faculty and educators from the Swine Extension Team who have had their work published recently. Ma, N., He, T., Johnston, L. , & Ma, X. (2020). Host-microbiome interactions: the aryl hydrocarbon receptor as a critical node in tryptophan metabolites to brain signaling. Gut Microbes, 11(5), 1203-1219. doi: 10.1080/19490976.2020.1758008. Pardo, F. O. C., Allerson, M. W., Culhane, M. R., Morrison, R. B., Davies, P. R. , Perez, A., & Torremorell, M. (2020). Effect of influenza A virus sow vaccination on infection in pigs at weaning: A prospective longitudinal study. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, doi: 10.1111/tbed.13688. Li, C., Culhane, M. R., Cheeran, M., Pantoja, L. G., Jansen, M. J., Amodie, D., Mellencamp, M. A., & Torremorell, M. (2020). Exploring heterologous prime-boost vaccination approaches to enhance influenza control in pigs. Veterinary Research, 51(1), 89. doi: 10.1186/s13567-020-00810-z.

PQA+ Advisor certification

Are you looking to become a PQA+ Advisor? PQA+ Advisors are the educators who work directly with producers to educate them on the PQA+ program and will help producers obtain PQA+ certification and  PQA+ site status at their respective production sites. PQA+ Advisor training date is planned for: November 12 – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., AmericInn, 1406 E Lyon St., Marshall Individuals wishing to attend the training session must meet the qualifications to become a Certified PQA+ Advisor. Qualifications include: Be a veterinarian, Extension specialist, or ag educator (for the purposes of PQA+, the definition of an ag educator is a person who spends full time in adult education or at least 50% time in production training) Have a D.V.M or B.S in Animal Science (or equivalent) Have two years of recent documentable swine production experience Certification is free to attend but pre-registration is required by November 5 either online or by contacting Colleen Carey with MN Pork Board at 1-800-537-7675

Episode 18: Rural Stress Resources in Minnesota

In this podcast Swine Extension Educators, Sarah Schieck Boelke and Diane DeWitte discuss rural stress resources for farmers and others involved in agriculture. Listen to the podcast:   (recorded August 21, 2020) Resources mentioned in the podcast as well as other resources The  University of Minnesota Extension's Farm and Rural Stress website offers resources for those dealing with farming's current challenges and struggles, including: Mental health Farm financial counseling Farmer-lender mediation The Minnesota Department of Agriculture offers three ways farmers and others involved in agriculture can connect with the  Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline : Phone (toll-free): 833-600-2670 Text: FARMSTRESS to 898211 Email: