Each year I mentally make a New Year’s resolution or two. It’s usually involves exercising more regularly and eating better. By the time Lent rolls around, I’ve usually fallen off the wheel a few times and end up making a verbal commitment to my family, asking them to hold me accountable.
“Pobody’s nerfect,” but leaning on each other during times of weakness, insecurity and uncertainty always seems to help. I have always admired how tight-knit the swine industry is when it comes to offering a shoulder of support to fellow producers, nutritionists, veterinarians and barn managers. A nutrition program that paid off in the sow barn, tips for better winter ventilation, an extra biosecurity measure that’s keeping the herd healthy — swine industry members are always willing to share information with each other and help each other be better pork producers.
In the latest Swine Disease Global Surveillance Report Bi-Monthly Update from the Swine Health Information Center and the University of Minnesota, a wealth of information was shared on the progress and status of African swine fever across China and Europe. Keeping tabs on this devastating disease overseas is crucial as well as battening down the hatches to make sure we keep ASF out.
Everyone must do their part and the SHIC and UMN teams have done a superb job reminding producers on actions they can implement from the farm to the airport and everywhere in between. If you are looking to make some New Year’s resolutions, why not add some of these to your business plan in 2019.
- Review biosecurity protocols with a focus on preventing risk from international visitors or workers. Prevent any introduction of possible foreign-sourced pork products.
- Strictly implement these biosecurity protocols every day.
- Foreign animal diseases, including ASF, may mimic a variety of domestic diseases. Always get a rapid, professional diagnosis in any abortions or death losses before an explosive health event occurs.
- Prepare your farm for business continuity by enrolling in the Secure Pork Supply plan. The Secure Pork Supply website is at securepork.org.
- If you are NOT diverted for secondary screening after declaring you have been on a farm or in contact with animals in an ASF- or other foreign animal disease-positive nation when returning to the United States, please contact Paul Sundberg, SHIC executive director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you fall off the wheel, don’t worry. The industry will help nudge you back in the right direction.