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PORK Academy seminars provide producers on-farm insights

5 Min Read
PORK Academy seminars provide producers on-farm insights

The Pork Checkoff’s Producer Opportunity for Revenue and Knowledge (PORK) Academy sessions will return to World Pork Expo, with seminars held Wednesday, June 6, and Thursday, June 7, at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa. The annual sessions help educate pig farmers on the latest trends in pork production.

“PORK Academy allows producers to hear industry news firsthand from experts,” said Andrew Reinecker, chair of the Pork Checkoff’s Producer and State Services Committee and a pig farmer from York Springs, Pennsylvania. “The Checkoff funds numerous programs, and this is a chance for attendees to learn more about each aspect of the industry. Bringing producers and industry professionals together offers networking opportunities as well.”

The 2018 PORK Academy seminars will be held at the Varied Industries Building, Room C, at World Pork Expo. Following are the topics and schedule.


Varied Industries Building – Room C

9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.                                                                         
Sow Lifetime Productivity
Dr. George Foxcroft, University of Alberta, Canada
Increasing the number of pigs sows produce during their time in the herd is critical for whole-farm productivity and producer profitability. This session will share Checkoff-funded research results that will help pig farmers better select and manage gilts during development for increased longevity and productivity.
10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Opportunities for Genetic Improvement
Thomas Titus, TriPork, Inc.
New tools for genetic improvement of pigs are continually being developed by scientists, geneticists and pig breeding companies. The tools are then incorporated in developing the gene pool of the U.S. herd to produce pigs that are more efficient and productive. One new technology that has the potential to make a significant impact of pork production is gene editing. In this session, Titus will discuss what this means for his operation and how he is engaging conversation about gene editing through conferences and social media.
11:15 a.m. – Noon       
Secure Pork Supply
Dr. Pam Zaabel, Iowa State University
What can producers do to prepare for a foreign animal disease outbreak? While putting measures in place during an outbreak can be overwhelming, Zaabel will present steps producers can take now to begin implementing the Secure Pork Supply plan on their production sites. The new Secure Pork Supply website will be highlighted.
Noon – Lunch provided in the Pork Checkoff Hospitality Tent
12:30 p.m. – Weather Outlook, Elwynn Taylor, Iowa State University
1:30 p.m. – Market and Grain Outlook, Steve Meyer and Joe Kerns, Kerns & Associates
1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Improving Sow Survivability
Dr. Jason Ross, Iowa State University
Over the past several years, the incidence of prolapse in sows has increased on many pig farms. Since many factors may contribute to this issue, pinpointing the cause has proven to be difficult. In 2017, the Pork Checkoff funded a research project to help pig farmers better understand these factors. In this session, Dr. Ross will provide insight into this emerging issue.
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Euthanasia Research and Resources
Caitlyn Mullins, North Carolina State University
This session will provide information on available Pork Checkoff resources, including materials on on-farm euthanasia methods and a demonstration of new online tools.

Varied Industries Building – Room C

9:15 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Antibiotic Use and Resistance
Dr. Heather Kittrell, Iowa State University
Dr. Kittrell will discuss the history of antibiotic resistance, the mechanisms by which resistance occurs and steps that veterinarians and producers can implement to reduce antibiotic resistance while improving animal welfare.
10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Environmental Permitting and Water Quality Issues Facing Pork Producers
Michael Fomica, Environmental Policy Counsel, National Pork Producers Council
This session will provide an update on current and emerging federal water quality, reporting, environmental permit regulations and their impacts on pork producers.
11:15 a.m. – Noon       
A “Fresh” Perspective: Driving Key Cutout Sales
Kiersten Hafer, Clemens Food Group
The love for bacon seems eternal, but beyond crispy strips of deliciousness, what are the opportunities for the pork belly and the pork shoulder? How can the value of the loin be increased? In this session, the Checkoff’s Domestic Marketing team will discuss efforts to change consumers’ perspectives on fresh pork and to put more pork in their shopping carts.
Noon – Lunch Provided in the Pork Checkoff Hospitality Tent
12:30 p.m. – Weather Outlook, Elwynn Taylor, Iowa State University
1:30 p.m. – Market and Grain Outlook, Steve Meyer and Joe Kerns, Kerns & Associates
1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
A Digital Revolution: Pork’s People-Driven Marketing Strategy
Steve Lerch, Google
The marketing landscape has evolved from one built on best guesses to being driven by data detailing human behavior both online and offline, allowing companies to be more precise with their messages than ever before. Learn how the National Pork Board is harnessing the art and science of marketing to break down walls, to add value to consumers’ lives and to drive sales.
2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
International Marketing Update
Craig Morris, National Pork Board
Dermot Hayes, Iowa State University
This session will provide an overview of U.S. pork exports, the National Pork Board’s International Marketing strategy and the outlook for U.S. pork sales abroad. Attendees will learn about the National Pork Board’s current and future emphasis on elevating international marketing as a path toward ensuring U.S. producer profitability during this period of domestic expansion.
For more information about Pork Checkoff-sponsored events and activities at World Pork Expo, call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675. For information about other World Pork Expo activities, visit www.worldpork.org.


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