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Showing posts from March, 2022

USDA Loans and Grants for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers in Minnesota

by Sarah Schieck Boelke, Extension Educator Are you a beginning farmer or rancher in Minnesota curious about eligibility requirements for a USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) loan or a Rural Development (RD) grant? Do you need financing for your current operation or to purchase land to expand? Have you considered the idea of improving the energy efficiency of your grain dryer or other equipment? In 2021 more than 1,100 beginning farmers and ranchers applied for a loan through the USDA FSA Farm Loan program in Minnesota. Nearly 80% were approved. Why weren’t all approved? Loan eligibility requirements was a factor for some applicants. In this recorded webinar USDA Farm Loan and USDA Rural Development (RD) staff discuss the grant and loan programs they have to offer. Energy grants, eligibility requirements and upcoming deadlines were also discussed during the webinar. Featured Speakers: 0:55    Introduction and Beginning Farmer and Rancher background by Liz Ludwig , USDA-FSA 6:46    Far

Research Spotlight - Environmental contamination assessment in farms undergoing an oubreak with PRRS 1-4-4 Lineage 1C

Reprinted as posted on Swine in Minnesota blog . Adopted from January 28, 2022 Bob Morrison's Swine Health Monitoring Project Friday rubric. The Morrison Swine Health Monitoring Project took a look at whether PRRSv cases associated with the linage 1C, RFLP 1-4-4 variant can be detected in the outside areas of farms undergoing an outbreak. Key Points There is little understanding of contributing factors aiding the 1-4-4 L1C PRRSv rapid transmission and biosecurity breaches. Environmental detection in recently infected farms was possible although detection was low. Most positive samples originated from exhausting fans, showing the virus may exit a positive barn via that route. Continue reading on the Swine in Minnesota blog .

Swine Production Seminar

UMN Extension is co-sponsoring a Swine Production Seminar along with Iowa State University, Hubbard and Elanco on March 30 at Arrowwood Resort Conference Center (1405 Hwy 71, Okoboji, IA). Herd health, industry insights, market outlook and production practices are the main topics of discussion. Speakers and Topics 9:30 a.m.         Registration and Welcome 10:00 a.m.       Hog Market Outlook Strategies to Consider Jon Greteman, CIH 11:00 a.m.       The Future of PRRS Resistant Pigs Dan Hamilton, PIC 11:30 a.m. An Overview of the Work VISA Process. What type of VISA fits your operation? Orlando Gil, TCTS Global Noon - Lunch 1:00 p.m.        Diagnostic Trends - How to apply them on the farm Chris Rademacher, DVM, Iowa State University 2:00 p.m. Succession Planning - Become STUBBORN at making HABITS that make farms succeed    Andy "Caygeon" Junkin, Agriculture Strategy 3:00 p.m. Wrap it up. . .Open discussion on other topics

US Swine Health Improvement Plan

US Swine Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) is modeled after the very successful National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) that has been in place since 1935. US SHIP is intended to provide a national program for certifying health status and is initially focused on African Swine Fever (ASF) and Classical Swine Fever (CSF). Minnesota has committed to participating in US SHIP and are encouraging all swine producers to enroll their production and packing site(s) in the program. Read more.

Beginning Farmer webinar

Are you a beginning farmer or rancher in Minnesota curious about eligibility requirements for a USDA Farm Service (FSA) loan or a Rural Development (RD) grant? Do you need financing for your current operation or to purchase land to expand? Have you considered the idea of improving the energy efficiency of your grain dryer or other equipment? UMN Extension will host a public webinar with USDA FSA and Rural Development (RD) on March 22. Learn more about loan program requirements during a live webinar with USDA Farm Loan staff, Katie Zachman and Paula Lund. Andrew Gag, of USDA RD will also discuss energy grants, eligibility requirements and upcoming deadlines. Webinar for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Tuesday, March 22 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. (CST) The webinar is free, but registration is required at to get the link for the March 22 webinar.

Davies receives Distinguished Service Award

The Minnesota Pork Board recognized Dr. Peter Davies, Professor Emeritus of the University of  Minnesota as this year’s Distinguished Service Award recipient. Dr. Peter Davies was honored preceding Minnesota Pork Congress on February 14. Learn more about Dr. Peter Davies and his contribution to the pork industry.

Shurson speaks on Feed Strategy podcast

Jerry Shurson, animal science professor in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences at the University of Minnesota discusses the concept of upcycling and how food waste could be used in animal feed on the Feed Strategy podcast. Listen to the podcast.

Biosecurity Survey

The Center for Animal Health and Food Safety at the University of Minnesota is conducting a survey about biosecurity on swine farms. Through understanding what biosecurity protocols are in use, and the beliefs around biosecurity, insights into the strengths and gaps in the swine industry can be made. With the spread of African Swine Fever globally, we believe this information is particularly relevant. To gather this information, we need the help of producers like you to tell us what you are currently doing and experiencing on your farm. Please consider taking the survey at the link below to aid in this research. We estimate that this survey will take you 10 - 20 minutes to complete. It is also recommended that you take this survey from a desktop/laptop computer - however you can take it on your phone (but it will likely be easier on a computer). Those who complete the survey will be entered into a drawing for 1 of 8 $75 gift cards. Thank you in advance for your valuable contribution

Evening PQA+ certification to be held

An evening PQA (Pork Quality Assurance) Plus certification training is planned for June 9 in Mankato, MN.   Time: 6 – 9 p.m. Location: MN Pork Board Office, 151 Saint Andrews Ct. Ste. 810, Mankato, MN Pre-registration is required to Colleen at MN Pork Board at or call 1-800-537-7675.

PQA & TQA certification

Upcoming Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA+) and Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) certification sessions include the following dates and locations: March 22 - Morris, MN - West Central Research & Outreach Center, 46352 State Hwy 329 April 5 - LeCenter, MN - 4-H Family Center LeSueuer Co Fairgrounds, 320 S Plut Ave. May 3 - Faribault, MN - Rice County Fairgrounds, UMN Extension 4-H Office, 1900 Fairgrounds Drive #17. PQA+ certification is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon and TQA from 1 to 4 p.m. at all locations unless noted otherwise. Information for all PQA+ and TQA certification sessions scheduled for 2022 can be found on UMN Extension webpage   under courses and events and searching for ‘PQA’ or ‘TQA’. Information can also be found on MN Pork Board's website ( ). Pre-registration is required by contacting Colleen at Minnesota Pork Board at or call 1-800-537-7675. PQA+ and TQA certification can be completed online in a self-paced course t

Recently published

Congratulations to the following swine faculty and educators from the Swine Extension Team who have had their work published recently. Hilbrands, A., Li, Y. Z., Johnston, L., Cox, R. Lazarus, W., Martin, W. , Forcella, F., & Gesch, R. (2021). Camelina Meal as an Alternative Ingredient in Growing-Finishing Pig Diets. Journal of Animal Science, 99(Supplement 3), Abstract 221, 116. Hung, Y. T., Zhu, J. L., Shurson, G. C., Urriola, P. E. & Saqui-Salces, M. (2022). Decreased nutrient digestibility due to viscosity is independent of the amount of dietary fibre fed to growing pigs. British Journal of Nutrition, 127(2), 177-187. Doi: . Li, Y. Z. , Lazarus, W. F., Reece, C., Hilbrands, A. M., Cox, R. B. , Forcella, F., Gesch, R. W. & Johnston, L. J. (2021). Integrating Camelina Into Organic Pig Production-Impact on Growth Performance of Pigs, Costs, and Returns. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 5, 759721. Doi:

Episode 29: E. coli in the swine industry

  I n the podcast, UMN Swine Extension Educator Sarah Schieck Boelke speaks with Dr. Hans Koeknk and Paul Skartvedt from ARKO labs about the current incidence of E. coli in the pork industry, especially in postweaning pigs. Listen to the podcast  (recorded February 1, 2022) Learn more about the information shared in the podcast Information about Edema Vac can be found on ARKO Lab's website . Visit Animal Science Product Inc.'s website to learn more about administering vaccines to piglets in sow stalls using Underline and Pig-E Gel products.