The Michigan State University (MSU) Extension Pork Team is now accepting applications for the Winter 2010 session of Swine Jobs School.

To meet the need for skilled workers for the Michigan pork industry, Swine Jobs School blends classroom instruction and hands-on experience to train students for employment on modern pork farms.

The school focuses on students who have completed high school and are seeking immediate employment, or workers who are unemployed and looking for opportunities to re-enter the workplace.

The next session of Swine Jobs School, taught by the MSU Pork Team, begins Feb. 15, 2010 and lasts 11 weeks. Classroom sessions are held at the Regional Educational School District building in Ithaca, MI. On-farm sessions are held in and around Gratiot County. Classroom sessions run 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday for the first two weeks of the class. The on-farm supervised training sessions are held at local swine farms to allow students to use the skills they learned in the classroom.

“Our instruction will take place in Gratiot County, but we welcome students from all over the state,” says Jerry May, MSU Extension district pork educator. “Hog producers from throughout Michigan have told us that they need qualified people to work on their farms.”

To reinforce classroom instruction and on-farm supervised training, Swine Jobs School includes nine weeks of on-farm work experience. Students will work at least 16 hours per week on a swine farm in their community and rotate through all phases of production from farrowing through finishing and feed processing departments.

The final phase of the program is comprised of further instruction in practical areas of pork production. On the third, sixth and ninth Friday of the on-farm work experience, students will return to the classroom for three hours of continued instruction.

For more information or for a program application, contact Jerry May at mayg@msu.edu or (989) 875-5233, or Dale Rozeboom at rozeboom@msu.edu or (517) 355-8398. Swine Jobs School applications, a class syllabus and expectations for the on-farm training are available at MSU Pork Team.