David Stender, Field Specialist/Swine, Cherokee, IA.
New technologies and regulatory issues continue to confront northwest Iowa swine finishers. February 2005, 65 producers looking to improve their knowledge of the management of finishing pigs attended a seminar in northwest IA. Participants were asked to measure their improvement in knowledge and skills by filling out a post seminar survey. Thirty-nine participants filled out the survey, they have control over 686,300 finishing pigs, 101,505 weaned pigs and 7,200 feeder pigs (that represents information given to approximately 265 full time equivalent employees calculated @ 2/3 hr per pig) and 6,000 breeding stock (about 34 more FTE). A significant portion of the decision makers in swine production in northwest Iowa were in attendance at this workshop.
An evaluation returned by participants at the end of the workshop
indicated why the attendees wanted to come to the meeting:
Sorters and feed; Learn; New information; To learn more; Interest; Learn about good grow-finish practices; To learn new ideas; Learn more; To learn more about things happening in the pork industry; Auto sort; Learn more; Now back in to ownership and need to start to learn again; Learn more about packer grids; Learn something new hopefully; Gain more knowledge; Feed & water management; To learn about swine finishing; To learn about swine finishing; To learn from Brumm; More education and be up with the future; General Knowledge; Just starting to learn the producer side, so am wide open to learning; Antibiotic & Denmark situation.
A discussion about optimum selling strategies was reported highly benefitial by most. Eighty-nine percent sited more than some benefit from this topic. No one reported no benefit at all. The subjects of out of feed events and water management were most beneficial to the producers, over 60% of reporters said this was very beneficial, the highest score possible, less than 10% reported average benefit. No one reported less than an average benefit. Automatic sort systems were also discussed: 22% very beneficial, 46% mostly beneficial, 22% simply beneficial, 8% somewhat beneficial, and 3% not beneficial.
When asked to estimate the production value of the meeting, 27 operations made an estimate of the value of the information received at the meeting The value to their operations totaled $62,400 Thirty-eight operations did not make an estimation.The average benefit per farm calculated out to be $2,311.The following are reported management changes that plan to be implemented because of what was learned from the program:
Mar 8, 2005
108 -- Iowa Pork Industry Center
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July 9, 2006
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