The Iowa Pork Industry Council recently received a $400,000 grant from the USDA National Research Initiative (NRI) program for a project designed to help niche pork farmers with specific production issues. The Niche Pork Herd Health and Production Cost Management Project currently is recruiting farmers to participate.
The project has two primary parts: production cost management and herd health diagnostics and management. The cost management portion will help niche pork farmers find ways to lower costs and increase profits, and the diagnostic portion (including routine and intensive subdivisions) will help farmers learn to use test results to address and perhaps minimize disease pressures.
The intensive subdivision will be comprised of a limited number of certified organic or antibiotic-free farms. Private veterinarians will work with Iowa State Univerisity to run tests, analyze results, and develop and implement strategies at both diagnostic levels.
Other project collaborators are ISU College of Veterinary Medicine, ISU College of Agriculture, ISU Extension, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, University of Nebraska Department of Animal Science, Practical Farmers of Iowa, and Iowa Farm Business Association.
For more information, contact Dave Stender, ISU Extension Swine Field Specialist, Cherokee County Extension Office, Cherokee, IA; (712) 225-6196; firstname.lastname@example.org.