Research, practical applications highlighted at NC State Swine Innovation Forum

Topics included enhancing piglet colostrum intake, improving farrowing outcomes and modeling indoor air quality on wean-finish mortality.

June 6, 2024

2 Min Read
NC State

Over 140 attendees gathered at the Maxwell Center in Goldsboro, North Carolina on May 7 for the annual North Carolina State University Swine Innovation Forum.

The day began with Dean Garey Fox providing NCSU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences updates. Kent Gray of Smithfield Premium Genetics shared insights into genetic developments and trends in the swine industry, providing information on his own initiatives and ideas for further development. Derrick Coble of NC A&T discussed research results comparing rearing Berkshire pigs on dry lots versus in hoop structures.

Next, Mark Knauer shared methods for enhancing piglet colostrum intake with a focus on split suckling and increasing the number of functional teats. With more than 30 years in swine research, Mike Ellis of the University of Illinois provided concrete ideas to make the most of academic-industry partnerships. He also shared some key research findings for improving farrowing outcomes.

The next speakers were focused on indoor air quality and ventilation, with Sanjay Shah discussing a novel recirculating cleaner prototype to reduce temperature stratification and dust concentrations in pig nurseries. Suzanne Leonard shared research results modeling the impact of indoor air quality on wean-finish mortality.

After a pork BBQ lunch, technical talks resumed with Dustin Kendall of Prestage Farms Inc. covering a variety of nutritional and practical tips for maximizing profitability. Eduardo Beltranena discussed his research focus areas, including addressing mortality, alternative feedstuffs, Nitrogen, and training needs of Spanish-speaking workers. Research results regarding the feasibility of using black soldier fly larvae and by-products as feed ingredients were shared by Eric van Heugten, while Mahmoud Sharara discussed the framework and importance of circularity in bioeconomies and swine production systems. To wrap up the day, Monique Pairis-Garcia provided information on the importance of prevalence and sample size for welfare measures in the Common Swine Industry Audit. If you'd like to learn more, visit this link (the website) to view slides from the event.

Throughout the event attendees viewed 15 research posters prepared by students and faculty on topics ranging from nitrogen capture to nutrition to novel sow cooling methods. Attendees voted for their favorite posters, with Paige Siebert winning the undergraduate division and Earth Pender, Alexa Gormley and Zack Peppmeier taking first, second and third in the graduate division. Congratulations to our student winners.

The day would not have been possible without our generous sponsors. Thank you for supporting our event.

Host Sponsor

NC Pork Council

Gold Sponsors

Crystal Spring Hog Equipment



Hamlet Protein

IFF - Danisco Animal Nutrition & Health

Phibro Animal Health Corporation

Silver Sponsors






Bronze Sponsors

APC Proteins


CSA Animal Nutrition



IHT Group/HogHearth


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