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Penn State Extension to host Pork 101 workshop in November

National Pork Board Boneless Ribeye Chop.jpg
Opportunity for pig farmers, pork processors and buyers anywhere from Maryland to Maine to better understand what influences pork quality.

In collaboration with the American Meat Science Association, Pennsylvania State University Extension will host a three-day, hands-on workshop focused on pork production and quality. "Pork 101" will take place Nov. 1-3 at Penn State's University Park campus.
 
The workshop will occur from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 1, from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 2, and from 7:30 a.m. to noon Nov. 3. The first day will take place in Penn State's Snider Agricultural Arena, with the second and third day spent in the Penn State Meat Laboratory.
 
"This is the first time the course is coming to the Northeast," said Elizabeth Hines, swine Extension specialist and assistant professor of animal science in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. "Bringing this nationally recognized course to state college will expand the available education in pig and pork production. This is a good opportunity for pig farmers, pork processors and buyers anywhere from Maryland to Maine to better understand what influences pork quality."
 
Experts from Penn State and the pork industry will lead participants through the process of creating high-quality pork, from farm to grocery shelf. The workshop will guide participants through hands-on activities in live animal selection, harvesting and fabrication of pork, and will include insight on value differences in swine, pork carcasses, pork primal cuts and processed pork products due to quality variation.
 
Participants will have the chance to evaluate eight live hogs. The animals will be processed during the class, providing opportunities to learn about grading, food safety and product processing. Finally, the class will make and sample processed product from the hogs, including pumped loins, bacon, ham and sausage.
 
One of the instructors will be Jonathan Campbell, meat Extension specialist and associate professor of animal science in the college.
 
"Participants can see how the decisions they make during production can affect everything from pork quality to pork pricing to the end consumer," Campbell said. "Gaining that knowledge could have a lasting impact on improving pork quality in the long term."
 
Understanding regional, national and global pork markets is another goal of the course. "Pork is such an important animal protein globally," Campbell said.
 
Hines also will present course material, including education about raising pigs on pasture and the impacts on meat.
 
"We'd really like to see some chefs take part in the course because I think that would be really useful to them," she said. "They probably already know how to cut up primals — large cuts that come from pigs — but they might not know how to disassemble a pig or may be unfamiliar with the harvest process."
 
The American Meat Science Association hosts the program nationally. The workshop is sponsored by the National Pork Board, Merck Animal Health and Smithfield Foods. Additional sponsorship from the Pennsylvania Pork Producers Council supports this program in state college.
 
More information is available on the Penn State Extension website.

Source: Penn State Extension, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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