After more than 15 years of development, The Maschhoffs will now offer its proprietary, production-focused swine genetics via a new standalone business – Acuity.
In 2003, Bradley Wolter, Ph.D., CEO of The Maschhoffs, began exploring the opportunity to create a portfolio of swine genetic solutions aimed at meeting the increasing needs of a pig production system. This pursuit of swine genetics built for commercial performance has culminated in the Acuity brand of genetics.
"Acuity grew from a need to build a genetic platform with commercial performance at its core," Wolter says. "This genetic program has been a key part of The Maschhoffs' success. Through the Acuity brand, we are now ready to partner with other pork producers who desire this same level of production-focused genetic performance."
Out of the gate, Acuity will provide a number of genetic resources, including the Acuity Duroc, which competes head to head with the world's best terminal lines. Years of testing data confirm the Acuity Duroc's high level of performance in a commercial system.
"In 2014, we developed our commercial test herd. This is the cornerstone of our genetic improvement program, and allows us to verify individual performance from the boar stud all the way to the packing plant," says Clint Schwab, Ph.D., president of Acuity. "This rapidly-growing commercial data stream allows a detailed systems-based view of genetic performance in a standard commercial environment, where it matters. Ultimately, it provides real-time data to back up Acuity's claims of important financial drivers such as fertility, survival, carcass yield and feed efficiency."
The Maschhoffs’ Vice President of Health and Operations Jay Miller, DVM, says some of the more nuanced production characteristics of Acuity genetics help drive The Maschhoffs' success.
"Our production team is confident they have a pig that performs in the key areas that drive profitability," Miller says. "Many genetics companies focus solely on the macro drivers of profitability. With Acuity genetics, the macro drivers are there, but we have the added benefits of more refined production characteristics that drive performance. For example, Acuity pigs get up on feed quickly after weaning. Survivability is good, and finisher groups are uniform."
Miller and his team also appreciate the contribution of a maternal program designed to deliver integrated value. "The Acuity platform has resulted in a pig with higher yields, which is appreciated by our packer customers," Miller says. "What's different is how the genetic solutions are created and deployed. Acuity continuously strives to get more out of their genetics. And, their solutions are backed by a wealth of research that’s been conducted in a commercial environment."
"Today, every producer is looking at the cost side of the equation – particularly in light of the current industry economic environment," Wolter says. "That's where The Maschhoffs has been able to generate an advantage. We have developed a pig that creates a cost advantage for a commercial system. Now, through Acuity, we are seeking long-term partners within the industry who share our passion for a platform of swine genetics developed by commercial producers for commercial producers."