DES MOINES, Iowa — The Pork Checkoff, in collaboration with the National Junior Swine Association and Team Purebred – the nation’s largest youth swine organizations – led an industry panel on biosecurity and farm preparation. Nearly 1,400 exhibitors, parents and industry spectators were on-site at The Exposition pig show at the Iowa State Fairgrounds as the panel addressed hot topics to stem on-farm disease spread.
“Our youth exhibitors have always strived to demonstrate good biosecurity measures to keep their pigs healthy,” said Clay Zwilling, chief executive officer of the National Swine Registry, the pedigree livestock association for the Duroc, Hampshire, Landrace and Yorkshire breeds. “With the pork industry focused on keeping African swine fever (ASF) from entering the U.S., it was an appropriate time to remind youth about the importance of biosecurity and to further educate them on foreign animal diseases, as well as reemphasize their understanding and appreciation of the broader pork industry.”
The panel discussed biosecurity best practices and the important role youth exhibitors play in protecting the health of the U.S. swine herd. This took place prior to the grand barrow selection and was held in the main show ring to engage the most attendees.
The biosecurity panelists included Doug Albright, Zoetis Animal Health and Albright Swine Farm, Michigan; Nick Doran, Swine Genetics International, Iowa; Daniel Hendrickson, DVM, Stoney Creek Veterinary Service and Consultation, Indiana; and Benny Mote, University of Nebraska.
“The panelists are experienced professionals within their specific industry segment,” said Brett Kaysen, assistant vice president of sustainability for the Pork Checkoff. “They each shared the relationship among pig health, biosecurity and foreign animal diseases, such as ASF, and why it’s so critical to take steps now to safeguard their pigs from these threats.”
Dakota Moyers, executive director with Team Purebred, the junior association for the Berkshire, Chester White, Poland China, Hereford and Spotted breeds, reiterates the panel’s bottom line.
“We realize that as an association focused on helping youth raise quality, healthy pigs across the country, we must do our part to help ensure proper biosecurity protocols are being understood and implemented,” Moyers said. “It’s a responsibility that we don’t take lightly and one that we are committed to achieving.”
Kaysen, who moderated the discussion, reminded the audience that ASF is a viral disease that affects only pigs, not people – so it is not a public health threat nor a food-safety concern.
Pork Checkoff resources on youth exhibitor biosecurity can be found on pork.to/showpig. A toolkit – Keep Your Pigs Healthy, A Biosecurity Toolkit for Youth Exhibitors – also is available online. A recording of the panel can be found at waltonwebcasting.com.
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety and sustainability and environmental management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at www.pork.org.
–National Pork Board
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