Pork Information Gateway U.S. Pork Center of Excellence

Tom J. Baas, Faculty, Animal Science


Pork producers are continually requesting and are in need of timely, accurate information that addresses current industry problems.  As budget cuts force universities and Extension specialists to narrow their focus, pork producers are having a more difficult time finding the swine related information they need.  Previously, the Pork Industry Handbook (PIH) had been excellent source of information but its funding has been eliminated and many of its fact sheets are out of date.  Thus, there is a need for an alternate source of production information for producers.
As a result, the Pork Checkoff, in conjunction with major land grant universities, helped create the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence to bring together the expertise that exists and make this knowledge available to all producers.  The U.S. Pork Center of Excellence is designed to add value to the pork industry by focusing on three areas.  A Research Center of Excellence will coordinate swine research on topics ranging from air quality to swine reproductive efficiency.  A Teaching Center of Excellence will support regional swine schools to provide intensive swine production education.  An Extension Center of Excellence will focus on the Pork Information Gateway (PIG), a virtual tool to help share the latest swine related information with producers.

The objective of the Pork Information Gateway is to provide on-line access to current and timely information for pork producers.  This will be accomplished through updates to current fact sheets in the Pork Industry Handbook, publication of new fact sheets on identified topics, and adding Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for all fact sheets. The Pork Information Gateway would provide immediate access, and a web-based, problem-solving network for pork producers and educators. 

Dr. Baas serves as the Editor of the Genetics Domain.  His duties as Domain Editor include evaluation of the applicability of current fact sheets and publications, identification of topics for new fact sheets, and organization of the peer-review process.  Three new fact sheets have been completed and FAQs have been written for over 20 previous fact sheets.
The U.S Center of Pork Excellence engages in research, teaching and outreach.  Goals are to consolidate research, avoid duplication, be virtual, and provide centers of excellence.  The Teaching Center would provide a critical mass of students.  The Extension Center of Excellence will focus on the Pork Information Gateway, a virtual center of information development, warehousing and delivery involving the entire pork Extension network nationwide.  All submissions are peer-reviewed, refereed information organized into domains within a resource center.  A learning center will have distance education capacity.  The Pork Information Gateway also provides an answer center that works off keyword search and FAQs.  Intellectual property belongs to the individual that gives permission to post it.  The new web site for PIG will be unveiled at the 2006 World Pork Expo in June.

108 Iowa Pork Industry Center

Page last updated: July 9, 2006
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu