2017 Michigan Pork Symposium

The Michigan Pork Producers Association (MPPA) is joining efforts with Michigan State University Extension to host the annual “Michigan Pork Symposium” on February 16, 2017.

Through presentations surrounding this year’s theme, the conference is intended to provide producers with knowledge that will help them provide a growing human population an environmentally-safe, socially-acceptable, low-cost source of meat. The conference will be held at The Lansing Center in Lansing, Mich.

To register for the event, please return this form to schmitt@mipork.org.

Check out the full agenda here for the event.

For information to attend or sponsor the symposium, please contact Emily Schmitt at schmitt@mipork.org or 517-853-3782.

2016 Michigan Pork Symposium

On February 23, 2016, the Michigan Pork Producers Association joined efforts with Michigan State University Extension to host the 2016 Michigan Pork Symposium. “No Two Are Alike” was the theme for this event. The goal of the Symposium was to provide producers with knowledge that will help them provide a growing human population an environmentally-safe, socially-acceptable, low-cost source of meat.

The Symposium started with the viewing of MSU Research Project Posters and an update from Dr. Nancy Frank, Assistant State Veterinarian with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. An MSU update was also given by Kevin Turner, MSU Swine Farm Manager.

Edward Malek, a mass carcass disposal technical specialist in Canada, was the keynote speaker for this year’s Symposium. In his presentation, entitled “No Two Are Alike!” he shared about lessons farmers, communities, state and federal governments have learned from the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreaks in the past year and a half. He emphasized that the best plan is to use a good biosecurity plan to prevent disease infection, and described three important parts of an effective biosecurity plan: 1) having a leader on the farm for biosecurity, 2) operating your farm using a distinct line of separation between animals ‘on the inside’ and disease risks ‘on the outside’, and 3) operate your farm using perimeter buffer area to control risk of disease from unexpected vehicles and people. Mr. Malek also discussed the importance of Emergency Action Planning (EAP). Having a well-documented EAP can be a valuable tool to reduce the impact of an emergency on your operation. A thorough analysis and description of your individual operation and sites, careful planning for each possible emergency scenario and ongoing maintenance and training before an emergency are all critical steps to effectively handle an emergency situation. In his concluding remarks, he encouraged everyone to be resilient. Resilience he said is “a proactive and determined attitude to remain a thriving enterprise.”

Following Malek’s presentation, the findings of two Michigan State University studies, supported by funds from the Michigan Pork Producers were shared by Dr. Melissa Millerick-May and Dr. Dale Rozeboom. Dr. Millerick-May said that PEDv spread is best controlled by employing manure management practices which minimize possible aerosol movement of PEDv during filling and agitation. Dr. Rozeboom (pictured above), talked about how well Michigan pork producers are currently prepared, if a serious disease outbreak were to result in the stopped movement of pig shipments. He discussed key practices for the farm that will make continuity of business more likely in the event of a disease outbreak in the future.

In the most popular presentation of the day, David Van Walleghem, from Vetoquinol Canada, ended the morning session by speaking about rodent and insect control, and cleaning & disinfecting. More detail about his presentation can be found in the Pork Quarterly.

At noon, attendees were treated to a delicious, captivating lunch of pork dishes prepared by the Lansing Center’s culinary staff and awards were presented to pork producers for their dedication to the industry.

During the Awards Luncheon, five individuals were recognized for their excellence in pork production and contributions to the pork industry. MPPA’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award went to Dale Norton, of Bronson. Norton is a member of the MPPA Board of Directors and has made significant contributions to the industry though his service in Michigan and at the national level, including serving as last year’s National Pork Board President.

Another honor went to Kris Duflo, of Circle K Family Farms LLC, Carson City. Duflo received the Master Pork Producer Award.

MPPA also awarded Jeremy Pommerenke of Huron Pork the Swine Herd Manager Award, and the Contract Grower Award went to Ryan Malburg of Valley View Pork.

In the afternoon of the Symposium, presentations were given by MSU researchers (faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students) about recent research and extension work. Producers took interest in learning more about efficient manure nitrogen use, post-farrowing pain management for the sow, how vitamin E may be important to the sow and litter, and handling pigs with less stress and difficulty. The afternoon sessions was envisioned to be like the “Swine Day” programming experienced in decades past.

The 2016 Michigan Pork Symposium successfully provided pork farmers from around the state information about their ever-changing industries. Valuable impact is anticipated in the future as farmers use information from the symposium to produce food for the world. This event was also made in part by many significant pork industry sponsors.