Now in its second year of multi-institutional collaborative work with university faculty and staff, swine producers and allied industry partners, the Improving Pig Survivability Project continues to involve pork producers, allied industry representatives and university faculty and staff in a variety of research studies and programs.
An upcoming component of the project is the International Conference on Pig Survivability set for Oct. 28-29 in Omaha, Neb. Registration is now open on the conference website.
Conference planning chair Joel DeRouchey, of Kansas State University says the event will provide timely, accurate and vital information to those involved with all facets of pork production. Topics range from economic and financial impacts of survivability to the roles people and technology play in decreasing mortality and increasing survivability.
"The conference content builds on information already gained through the project, and ways people can start to use the data in their own operations," DeRouchey says. "All of our speakers bring their individual knowledge and experience that will help attendees learn more and understand how to use that knowledge when they return home."
Project leader Jason Ross and director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State University, says the project has two primary objectives: to identify factors contributing to swine mortality in commercial production, and to develop strategies and information to reduce mortality and maximize pig survivability.
Ross says the conference will play a large role in sharing information gained during this first segment of the project. Read more about the project and its progress on the Improving Pig Survivability website.
"The objective of the conference is to facilitate the discussion and dissemination of the most current information relative to sow, litter, weaned pig and grow-finish mortality," he says. "Through featuring presentations and panel discussions from industry leaders and scientific experts, we want to bring the industry together to motivate change while providing the tools and resources to do it."
The conference begins with plenary sessions in the morning and afternoon of the first day, with two sets of concurrent sessions followed by a plenary session on the second day. Each breakout session concentrates on a specific production phase – breeding herd, pre-weaning, nursery and finishing – and will have a short presentation, research updates and a panel discussion.
Full conference registration is $200 when done by Oct. 1, and increases to $300 after that date. Student registration is $25 by Oct. 1, and $50 after that date. The fee includes two lunches, one breakfast, one reception and all program materials. The conference website has links to the current agenda, lodging information and list of sponsors.
Improving Pig Survivability project team members are from Iowa State University, Kansas State University and Purdue University. The project is funded by National Pork Board and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research.