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.

Pork Checkoff’s Sow Housing Research
During the past 10 years, Pork Checkoff has invested more than $1.3 million to fund 20 research projects related to sow gestation housing. The projects focus on key factors to optimize a particular type of housing system.
Defending Freedom of Choice
At a World Pork Expo news conference last month in Des Moines, IA, National Pork Board CEO Chris Novak made it clear that the rush to prohibit pork suppliers from housing sows in gestation stalls is a judgment made in haste and without any basis in science.
Employee Care Toolkit for Your Farm
New from the Pork Checkoff, the Employee Care Toolkit provides assistance to build and retain a quality workforce.
Balancing Dietary Costs
It used to be about all that pork producers worried about when it came to swine rations was availability of feed ingredients, and, of course, the prices of corn and soybean meal. But, currently, virtually all other key ingredients in swine diets also cost more, according to Joel DeRouchey, Extension swine nutritionist at Kansas State University (KSU).
Purdue Releases Details of Air Emissions Study
Purdue University data indicates pork producers may not have to regularly report or control air emissions.
Keeping Employees Safe on the Job


Besides hiring and retaining valuable farm staff, a big part of the responsibility of human resources departments is to ensure staff safety, says Joe Connor, DVM, Professional Swine Management (PSM), Carthage, IL.

At PSM, there are ongoing, proactive steps to introduce safety measures and analyze accidents when they occur, he says.

To avoid repeatable accidents, employees at PSM are provided with initial training and education, then up-to-date training on the most common slipups on sow farms.

‘Hiring Right’ is Key To Employee Retention
Finding and keeping the right people is a very detailed process for Suzan Heimer and Fred Kuhr, director of sow production at Professional Swine Management.
NPPC Bristles at Egg Legislation
The Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers jointly announced on Thursday the introduction of S.3239, the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012, sponsored by a group of senators led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). In short, the legislation will require egg producers to essentially double the space allotted per hen and make other housing changes in a tiered-in process over the next 15 to 18 years.
Three Reasons Why the Hog Market Fizzled This Spring
The spring rally in the hog market has been very strong the past five years, from the last week of March through the third week of May, becoming the strongest seasonal rally of the year, according to Chris Hurt, Purdue University Extension agricultural economist. This year’s counter-seasonal price movement has caused the anticipated spring rally to fizzle.
World Pork Expo 2012
Experience the newest technologies in the pork industry, participate in production seminars and watch outstanding breeding stock shows and sales at the 2012 World Pork Expo. The event, scheduled for June 6-8, attracts 20,000 people to the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, IA.
2012 Master of the Pork Industry Paul Yeske, DVM
2012 Master of the Pork Industry Paul Yeske, DVM, is in his element conducting research to benefit the pork industry. Since he began practicing in 1985, Yeske has diligently researched what others have done and then mapped out and implemented disease elimination schemes for a variety of swine diseases.
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