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Leman in Spanish expands swine industry education

By investing in educational opportunities, U.S. pig producers and Spanish speaking teams will have knowledge necessary to tackle current and emerging issues.

January 17, 2023

3 Min Read
Leman in Spanish expands swine industry education
National Pork Board

The swine industry continues to grow and face important challenges throughout the world. One of those challenges is to attract people who want to work with pigs and addressing this challenge often requires considering hiring people from other regions or countries. Another challenge is staying up to date with research and current industry trends.

A while back, Al Leman and Jim Hanson at the University of Minnesota established a meeting with the goal of providing swine practitioners, pig producers and researchers the opportunity to share experiences, provide research updates and collaborate to advance swine health and production. That event was the foundation of today's Allen D. Leman Swine Conference, which is held every September in St. Paul, Minnesota.

However, it has not always been possible to meet in person. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we met virtually for the first time and despite the challenges, our team took it as an opportunity to reach broader audiences and affirm our commitment to support the swine profession and the industry. In addition to English, we delivered the content in Spanish and Portuguese, reaching out to audiences in the United States and beyond.

Our enthusiasm grew exponentially when we took the opportunity the following year to organize a conference only in Spanish to reach the Spanish-speaking audiences in the United States and abroad. Thus, we decided to create an independent Leman Conference in Spanish, known as the "Leman Swine Conference in Spanish" or "La Conferencia Porcina de la Leman en Español."

In November 2022, we hosted our second virtual Leman Conference exclusively in Spanish. More than 300 participants from 15 countries located in the Americas and Europe attended the conference and we had a growing audience from the United States itself with participants from 11 states. We are cautiously optimistic that the conference can help develop the skills and knowledge of rising swine professionals in the United States that will impact the health and productivity of U.S. swine, while being inclusive of a diverse and dedicated workforce in need of educational opportunities.

Our virtual event is committed to bringing the latest information to the audiences, covering current and emerging topics, including the African swine fever situation in the Dominican Republic/Haiti, biosecurity, health, production and nutritional and feeding strategies given the rapidly increasing cost of feed ingredients. We had expanded on topics specific to respiratory disease control and eradication; senecavirus diagnostics, control and elimination; strategies to decrease mortality in all production stages; best biosecurity practices and sustainability programs presented by industry leaders. We recorded a session exclusively to train field personnel on how to conduct a necropsy, with best practices to perform post-mortem examinations. A poster session with a panel discussion was also a hallmark of the conference. The Leman Conference in Spanish offered the opportunity to professionals to present their own science driven solutions. 

The Leman in Spanish was once again an event that delivered key messages to important audiences. By investing in educational opportunities, U.S. pig producers, and their Spanish speaking teams will have the knowledge necessary to tackle current and emerging issues, strengthening the readiness of the U.S. swine workforce. The University of Minnesota is committed to be a partner in such educational efforts, and we thank our collaborators and sponsors in making the conference possible. Looking forward to the 2023 conference, stay tuned!

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