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SHIC Wean-to-Harvest Biosecurity Program nets 41 proposals

National Pork Board NPB-finisher-pigs.jpg
Proposals are currently under review by two industry-wide task forces – one for site-oriented projects and the other for transportation-related work.

The Swine Health Information Center, along with the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and Pork Checkoff, joined together to fund and launch a two-year Wean-to-Harvest Biosecurity Research Program in the summer of 2022. In October 2022, a call for research proposals was announced with the goal of investigating cost-effective, innovative technologies, protocols or ideas to enhance biosecurity during the wean-to-harvest phases of production. By the submission deadline of Dec. 16, significant interest in the program resulted in SHIC receiving 41 proposal submissions. Review is now underway.

The Wean-to-Harvest Biosecurity Program proposals received by SHIC, coming from private companies as well as universities in the United States and around the world, cover a diverse set of research priorities with a range of time and cost requirements for completion, all with the goal of addressing an identified vulnerability to swine health. Proposals are currently under review by two industry-wide task forces formed by SHIC – one for site-oriented projects and the other for transportation-related work.

The goals of the task forces reviews are to be objective, credible and transparent with their process for proposal selection. The task forces will evaluate proposals' overall value to the pork industry, likelihood of achieving objectives, experimental design including health and economic outcome effectiveness, as well as justification for cost and time.

The SHIC Board of Directors along with FFAR and National Pork Board representatives will review task force recommendations and make the final decision on funding selections in January 2023. The anticipated timeline for funding awards and research project commencement is February 2023. SHIC will report research results providing value and information back to the swine industry as soon as they become available.

The Wean-to-Harvest Biosecurity Program not only reflects SHIC's responsiveness to an identified health vulnerability but further illustrates collaboration, with FFAR and NPB in this instance, to stretch SHIC's producer Checkoff funds to safeguard the health of the U.S. swine herd. Proactively enhancing wean-to-harvest biosecurity will help control the next emerging disease in the U.S. pork industry, part of SHIC's mission.

With a pool of approximately $2.3 million available for Wean-to-Harvest Biosecurity Program research, proposals are capped at $200,000 but individual proposals may be higher with sufficient justification for a project that will be unique, high impact and have industry-wide benefits.

SHIC, launched by the National Pork Board in 2015 solely with Pork Checkoff funding, continues to focus efforts on prevention, preparedness and response to novel and emerging swine disease for the benefit of U.S. swine health. SHIC is funded by America's pork producers to fulfill its mission to protect and enhance the health of the U.S. swine herd. 

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