Dale Miller


A Minnesota native and animal science graduate of the University of Minnesota, Dale joined the National Hog Framer editorial staff in 1973. He has traveled to most states and many foreign countries, studying and reporting on pork production practices throughout the world. Dale’s writing and photography have won numerous awards over the years, including the American Association of Agricultural Editors’ Master Writer award in 2006. He has been recognized with the Honorary Master Pork Producer award by the Iowa Pork Producers Association, the Minnesota Swine Honor Roll, the National Swine Improvement Federation Distinguished Service award, and in 2010, received the Pork Checkoff Pork Industry Distinguished Service award. Dale remains active in pork production by raising purebred Chester White breeding stock, F-1 gilts and premium locker pork.

Soybean Prices Strength Attributed to Bean Meal Prices
The run up in soybean prices throughout the summer (June through early September) was driven more by soybean meal prices than it was by the price of soybean oil, according to report filed by Darrel Good with the University of Illinois’ Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.
Producers say: ‘Pens Just Don’t Feel Right’
For many, particularly those in the 45- to 60-year-old age range, the relentless push to move gestating sows out of stalls and into pens “just doesn’t feel right,” explains Tim Loula, DVM, with the Swine Vet Center (SVC), St. Peter, MN.
Ready to Rumble
Why is it that whenever you mix unfamiliar sows or pigs in a group a fierce battle ensues? It’s in their genes. Pigs are hard-wired to establish a hierarchy when placed in the near proximity of others. That’s the conclusion USDA livestock behavioral specialist Jeremy Marchant-Forde offered at a sow housing workshop during the Leman Swine Conference recently. But he adds a caveat: Given a choice, they might just avoid the altercation altogether. At least, that’s what their ancestors would do.
Manure Nutrient Handling, Safety Tips
Great care must be taken whenever swine manure is handled, transported and applied, not only for the safety of the pigs and people, but also to minimize odor and gas emissions.
Challenges Abound
The when-it-rains-it-pours analogy seems to fit the challenges facing the pork industry recently. It’s an old idiom often used when a disproportionate number of trials and tribulations have befallen someone.
Are You an Olympian?
The Olympians are the summer’s bright spot — each striving to achieve a “personal best” in their sport of choice. Pork producers are facing Olympic-caliber challenges, too Skyrocketing feed costs will require each to hone his/her personal skills in a battle scored in the profit/loss columns of Excel spreadsheets.
Geothermal Design Banks on Tempered Air
Agricultural engineers at the University of Minnesota have spent the better part of a year capturing a snapshot of the energy-saving capabilities of a one-of-a-kind, 900-sow, breed-to-wean facility fitted with matching sets of five geothermal heat exchangers on both sides of the structure. The relatively simple design allows outside air to be pulled through each of 10 heat exchangers to temper air (heat in winter, cool in summer) as it enters 8-ft.-wide hallways that serve as inlet air-mixing chambers.
Be Proactive or Perish
The damn-the-data attitude of anti-meat groups has permeated the attitudes of the general public and too many members of Congress. The lackadaisical attitude about the science of food production is setting dangerous precedents that will haunt livestock producers for generations to come.
Reshuffling EU Sow Counts
Sow numbers in the European Union (EU) are down slightly from 13 million sows, 2010 vs. 2011. “A number of big countries have seen limited change, while in a number of eastern and central European countries the change is massive,” points out Peter Kristensen, DVM, former general manager of animal health for Boehringer Ingelheim in the Ukraine, Belorussia and Kazakhstan.
‘When Crates Go Away’
Done poorly, the loss of sow performance and the increase in sow mortality will explode.” That is the learned observation of Peter Kristensen, DVM, a native of Denmark, who most recently served as general manager of animal health for Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. in the Ukraine, Belorussia and Kazakhstan.
Sow Body Condition Caliper Guides Feeding
Most of the 5.8 million sows in the United States are fed to a subjective body condition target. Yet the majority of barn workers, farm managers and service staff are not highly trained in estimating body composition. And, on some farms, the task of scoring body condition may fall to more than one individual, thus compounding the variation.
Feeding the World
That is the rhetorical — and practical — question hanging over meetings and conferences associated with agriculture these days. In the livestock sector, the long-term health and sustainability of our production systems will require sensible laws and guidelines to meet that goal. The key word being — sensible. Hardly a week goes by that the livestock and poultry industries aren’t beaten up over some generally proven management or processing practice. Commonly, the red flag-wavers are affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) or other anti-meat advocates. Two of their favorite targets include the use of low-level antibiotics in livestock diets and housing gestating sows in stalls.
2012 Master of the Pork Industry Craig Christensen
2012 Master of the Pork Industry Craig Christensen is a pork producer, entrepreneur and restaurateur. Just 20 years into his still-young career, Craig Christensen has worn a number of hats.
2012 Master of the Pork Industry Dianne Bettin
2012 Master of the Pork Industry Dianne Bettin is an unwavering advocate for the pork industry. Bettin believes her pork industry involvement has benefitted their hog operation in several ways. “When you’re involved in the industry, you have the opportunity to see and hear about how others do things on a day-to-day basis. It makes you a better person, and your hog operation will be better because of all of the things you’ve learned,” she explains.
2012 Master of the Pork Industry Steve Pollmann
National Hog Farmer's Masters of the Pork Industry are professionals, entrepreneurs, and family-based men and women whose dedication and wisdom are sure to inspire young and old as they tackle the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in an ever-changing, global pork industry. 2012 Master Steve Pollmann went from a modest FFA pig project to managing one of the nation's largest hog enterprises.
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