The University of Nebraska and Iowa State University are joining forces to improve swine extension programs.
In what could be an early step toward a regional swine extension program in the Midwest, the arrangement will allow the sharing of swine extension personnel and their expertise across the state border, says Mike Brumm, Nebraska Cooperative Extension swine specialist.
"This means that if Iowa producers need information on wean-finish management, they can call me just like they would call an Iowa specialist," Brumm says. "Likewise, if Nebraska producers want to know about a control strategy for PRRs, they can contact Locke Karriker in the College of Veterinary Medicine at ISU. It also means Locke and I will have working knowledge of the unique challenges within each state so our response to educational needs still fits with local and regional concerns."
Each state doesn't have the resources to maintain scientific strength in all disciplines that serve the swine industry, says John Mabry, director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center at ISU.
"We know it will be necessary for states to share their respective discipline resources with each other," Mabry says. "Our goal is to help meet the needs of the pork industry for unbiased, science-based information by providing access to experts with that knowledge and experience."
The joint effort also allows local and area extension staff to continue to plan and present programs for youth and adult audiences with the opportunity to involve extension swine experts from either state as needed.
The initial cooperative agreement, which took effect July 1, is for a five-year period, ending in 2009.
Anyone in either state can contact specialists from those states for information. To contact Brumm or other Nebraska specialists, call (402) 584-2816 or e-mail email@example.com. To contact Mabry or other Iowa specialists, call (515) 294-4103 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.