2005 Northeast Iowa Swine Conferences a Success

Daniel J. Meyer, Ag Engineer Field Specialist and Mark Storlie, Swine Field Specialist, Northeast Area
A multitude of issues face the swine finisher producers such as the new phosphorus-based manure plans, rising fuel bills, loss of pigs due to equipment failures, vaccination/drug rule changes, estate planning and new Iowa odor rules.  The clientele need an annual update of information from an unbiased source on the Iowa DNR rules and other technology changes so as not to construct new buildings with built-in problems or get into trouble with the Iowa DNR.
Programmatic Response
Mark Storlie and Dan Meyer coordinated an all day program with various speakers to deal with these current issues of swine finisher producers.  Two regional program locations were used to minimize travel for producers.  Supplemental funds were solicited from the Iowa Pork Producers Association and the site located county Farm Bureau organizations.  The IPPA came through with $400 of funding to reduce the registration fee $9 per person and the Farm Bureau picked up the registration fee for producers from four counties.  Press releases mailed to county offices,  a WMT radio paid ad, brochures handed out at eleven manure certification meetings, an announcement in Mark Storlie's e-mail swine newsletter and a mailing to previous swine conference attendees were methods used to make producers aware of the two regional conferences at Nashua and Oelwein.
A total of 33 of the 58 attendees filled out an evaluation.  These respondents raise over 282,000 pigs per year.   Seventy-nine percent were owners or employees of their operations.  Eighty-five percent said the conference was quite helpful or very helpful.  They listed the rules updates, estate planning and the pork producer panel on management tips as the most helpful topics.  The ten speakers at each location had an influence on these attendees pork production as indicated by the comments from their evaluations on what they planned to do different.  The comments included:  check their alarm systems, I picked up ideas to make my operation better, clean my water lines, try an oral vaccine, get started on my Phosphorus-Index manure plan, pay more attention on how to get ahead on odors and keep antibiotic records.  A high percentage of attendees stayed through the whole conference which typically indicates interesting topics and speakers. 
March 1, 2005
108 -- Iowa Pork Industry Center

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