Joe Vansickle

Senior Editor

Joe, a native of Indiana, is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He worked on daily newspapers in Albert Lea, MN and Fairmont, MN, before joining the staff of National Hog Farmer in 1977. Joe specializes in animal health issues, federal regulations, environmental concerns, food safety and writing about the swine veterinary community. Joe has won several writing awards from the Livestock Publications Council. In 2002, he earned the Master Writer Program Award from the American Agricultural Editors’ Association.

White Paper Addresses Antimicrobial Use, Resistance Issues
Antimicrobial use and resistance and a start toward seeking resolution on these polarizing and often misunderstood issues are topics addressed in a white paper developed by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture.
No second chances when it comes to saving pigs.
No Second Chances
“The typical call I get from a producer is, ‘I can’t get my pigs off to a good start, Doc,’” remarks Minnesota swine veterinarian Tim Loula of the Swine Vet Center (SVC), St. Peter, MN.
Day One Pig Care
Do the math and it becomes clear that the U.S. pork industry is losing about 20% of total born piglets before weaning, says Tim Loula, DVM, Swine Vet Center, St. Peter, MN.
Be ready for antibiotic restrictions.
Be Ready for Antibiotic Restrictions
If you are in the pork production profession, get ready for restrictions on the way you handle antibiotics, no matter what form they are delivered to your pigs, says James McKean, Iowa State University swine veterinarian and associate director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center.
Fine-Tuned Feed
A research study conducted at New Fashion Pork in Jackson, MN, tested a new concept of fine-grinding either the corn portion or the whole diet when the diet contained higher levels of by-products in addition to corn to improve the energy value.
Tweaking Aids Producer’s Survival
Bill Tentinger, 63, laughs heartily when he thinks back to an interview he did earlier this year, when he expressed some doubt about the survival of his small hog operation in northwest Iowa. When Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) officials heard about it, they were surprised that he would speak so openly about his possible fate.
Estimating the Cost of Mortality Management
The practice of composting to manage on-farm swine mortalities has increased from 10.5% in 1994 to nearly 36% in 2006, according to data supplied by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Traditionally, the most popular method of composting has been the open static pile (OSP) in bins, piles or windrows, managed by primary, secondary and curing stages. More recently, in-vessel (IV) systems have become increasingly used. The most popular system is rotating drums.
Fixing Feed Efficiency
A recent survey by Kansas State University (KSU) has found that despite decades of Extension education emphasizing the importance of feed efficiency in swine, pork industry participants still fall short in knowledge and production applications.
Controversial EPA Administrator to Step Down
Lisa Jackson made few friends in the nation’s capitol as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). On Thursday, Jackson announced she was stepping down after President Obama’s annual State of the Union address in January.
2013 U.S. pork production is expected to decline.
Crop Prices Dip, Livestock Prices Climb in Illinois Forecast
University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good expects livestock prices to improve somewhat in 2013, and grain prices to be volatile but retreat lower, depending on the growing season.
Moving sows.
Handle with Care
Whether due to lameness or unproductivity, culling sows is a frequent event on most hog farms. Because it is not a daily task, it is not given the emphasis and training needed to effectively manage this neglected profit center, says Terry Whiting, DVM, manager of Animal Health and Welfare, Manitoba Agriculture and Rural Initiatives.
Lungs displaying symptoms of Mycoplasma pneumonia.
Measuring Mycoplasma
Porcine respiratory disease complex (PRDC) continues to account for a majority of the economic losses associated with disease in the late finishing period. Mycoplasma pneumonia is a major contributor to that syndrome.
Smoke sticks help detect air leakage around doors.
Air Leak Detectives
Without a doubt, the process of filtering a sow farm is a costly and time-consuming process, according to Jeff Feder, DVM, Swine Vet Center, St. Peter, MN.
Pipestone Veterinary Clinic’s Bryan Myers, DVM, of Independence, IA.
Blocking PRRS Virus
A four-year University of Minnesota research trial found that air filtration was 100% effective in blocking porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus from entering a model of a swine production region.
Monte Moss, DVM, and his air filtration system.
Prevailing Over PRRS
Monte Moss, DVM, is a realist. He knows that with 110,000 pigs being finished within a six-mile radius of his northern Indiana hog farm, he will never be “home free” when it comes to security against outbreaks of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS).
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