AMES, Iowa -- The 2005 Iowa Pork Regional Conference series marks the fifth year of a successful partnership among the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA), Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC), and Iowa State University (ISU) Extension.
This series began in 2001 with four program locations in Iowa. Over the first four years, more than 900 people have attended. In response to producer and industry feedback, the series focus varies by production phase and subject area, and has been expanded this year to eight locations around the state. The 2005 program, set for Feb. 21-25, will cover grow-finish management. It will be held in these locations: Early, Sioux Center, Wesley, New Hampton, Anamosa, Ainsworth, Marshalltown and Lewis.
This ongoing partnership has proved to be valuable to producers, according to Leon Sheets, pork producer from Ionia and chair of the IPPA producer education committee. He said that as the pork production methods and innovations continue to advance, IPPA is pleased with the efforts of ISU Extension to adapt to meet the needs and challenges of pork producers by providing practical, science-based information and technical expertise.
"Our partnership with ISU Extension is long-standing and we rely on their staff expertise to provide necessary resources and information in areas such as nutrient management, building engineering, swine health, pork quality, and production methods," Sheets said. "We also count on them to administer vital certification programs."
John Mabry, IPIC director, said the partnership is mutually beneficial.
"Our partnership with IPPA has helped us become proficient at transferring the latest industry information and management tools into producers' hands," he said. "We're able to take the information gained through research and practice and quickly apply it at the farm level."
As Iowa's pork production systems become increasingly efficient and responsible, the need for even more scientific-based information in many specialized areas is critical, Sheets said.
"That's why efforts like the annual regional conference series are so important," he said. "We bring presenters who are recognized experts in their fields right to the producer."
For more information on this year's program, including preregistration requirements, cost and specific locations, contact IPPA at (800) 372-7675 or IPIC at (800) 808-7675.
Jen Holtkamp, Iowa Pork Producers Association, (800) 372-7675
Sherry Hoyer, Iowa Pork Industry Center, (515) 294-4496,