The sixth annual Iowa Swine Day will once again address current issues and opportunities facing pork producers. The event, scheduled for Thursday, June 29, on the Iowa State University campus in Ames, is planned and hosted by ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Iowa Pork Industry Center and the Iowa Pork Producers Association.
Organizer John Patience, professor of animal science, said planners build upon the success of past programs by continuing to seek input from an industry committee. Patience has concluded from past years that the best approach to developing a program for the pork industry is to seek input from producers representing a crosssection of the industry.
"For example, the morning plenary session features Joe Schwarcz of McGill University, who will discuss misconceptions about the use of science in agriculture," Patience said. "His presentations include a humorous twist, with the ultimate goal of bringing logic to the conversation about science in our day-to-day life. He’s the only non-American to win the American Chemical Society’s prestigious Grady-Stack Award for demystifying chemistry to the general public, so his talk will be entertaining as well as educational."
Also in the morning session, Mark Greenwood will talk about the future state of the U.S. pork industry. As senior vice president at AgStar Financial Services, he will discuss how the new packing capacity on the horizon will afford producers both opportunities and challenges going forward. Dhamu Thamodaran, executive vice president of Smithfield Foods, and Bruce Vincent, executive director of Provider Pals, will round out the morning session.
Following lunch, 12 presentations will be part of three concurrent sessions. Patience said the topics range from updates on PRRS, PEDv and Seneca Valley Virus to progress in the implementation of the new VFDs, and from challenges and emerging needs of production facilities to diet changes in response to new restrictions on feed antibiotics.
Following the day’s program, attendees are invited to a barbecue in the Iowa State Center courtyard, organized by TechMix and AB Vista.
"This meal will be catered by Smokey D’s, currently ranked sixth in the U.S. out of more than 4,000 competition barbecue teams," he said. "They are the only team to win all four BBQ major contests on the Kansas City Barbecue Society circuit, accomplishing that feat in 2016."
Iowa Swine Day will be held in the Scheman Building at the Iowa State Center, with check-in and onsite registration beginning at 7:30 a.m. and the first session set for 9 a.m. Lunch and refreshments are included in the registration fee of $50 per person; this will increase after June 17 to $75. Similarly, students of all ages may register at no cost until June 17, with the registration increasing to $45 thereafter. The full schedule, sponsor list and registration information are available on the event website.