Pork producers can take advantage of valuable resources thanks to the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence (USPCE). Housed at the Pork Checkoff office as a separate entity, the USPCE is a nucleus for industry collaboration, focusing on research, teaching and Extension and offering resources for producers and students.
“Resources available through the USPCE can assist producers or companies associated with the pork industry,” said Chelsey Van Genderen, USPCE project manager. “Fact sheets, educational courses, instructional videos and more offer on-farm tips to everyone from experienced producers to those wanting to learn more about the pork industry.”
An annual Pork Checkoff investment helps fund the USPCE, with universities and state pork associations also providing support. The USPCE was established in 2005 to encourage collaboration of universities, the pork industry and government.
“There are complex problems facing the pork industry,” Van Genderen said. “The USPCE focuses on bringing together information for all the stakeholders by collaborating on integrated education and research.”
An example of how producers can benefit from the resources from the USPCE is in the area of reproduction problems. If a producer can’t determine why a sow continues to have small litters, they can access the National Swine Reproduction Guide online to discover the answer to their question. The guide asks a series of questions before sifting through more than 1,000 facts sheet and reference materials.
“The easy-to-use resources are accessible to any producer by visiting us online,” Van Genderen said.
Producers can access the Reproduction Guide and the resources below at usporkcenter.org.
Swine Science Online (SSO) – The first-ever undergraduate program offers students who have a specific interest in swine science an opportunity for additional swine-specific educational courses. With a goal of having more academically trained students entering the pork industry, the program also offers a 12-credit industry certificate for students who complete the requirements.
Professional Swine Manager (PSM) – Funded in cooperation with the Pork Board, this program targets pork production employees, community college students and high school students who are seeking to continue to learn and grow within the industry. Courses are conducted by community college instructors with pork industry experience. A large component of the program is the hands-on application.
Pork Information Gateway (PIG) – Free resources for the pork industry are available through a library that includes fact sheets, how-to guides, reference material and videos that cover all aspects of the industry.
National Swine Reproduction Guide (NSRG) – The web-based troubleshooting guide addresses reproduction issues. With over 1,000 fact sheets and reference materials, producers can access the information using the online platform. A decision tree begins with three questions, then narrows the selection to help answer a question.
National Swine Nutrition Guide – The practical publication contains 35 nutrition fact sheets with nutrient recommendations and feeding guidelines. Producers can use the recommended tables to formulate diets.
Swine Research and Education Experience (SREE) – The grant program seeks to expand undergraduate and veterinary student participation in research and education projects that are relevant to the swine industry.
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