Swine Jobs School was formed to help develop well-trained staff members for highly skilled positions on hog farms in Michigan.

Using a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on learning on local swine farms, Swine Jobs School trains interested students for positions on modern swine farms.

The next session of Swine Jobs School begins Sept. 7 with classroom sessions planned for the Schoolcraft Township Building in Vicksburg, MI.

The school focuses on students who have completed high school and are seeking immediate employment, or workers who are unemployed and seeking to reenter the workforce. The school provides training skills to work on hog farms and interpersonal skills needed for employment. The school is taught, organized and sponsored by Michigan State University (MSU) Extension swine specialists and Extension educators.

The first two weeks of Swine Jobs School involves meeting for eight sessions combining classroom instruction and on-farm, supervised training. The sessions run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Sept. 7-10 and from Sept. 13-16. In the following nine weeks of the school, students will spend 16 hours a week gaining on-farm work experience on local swine farms. Work schedules will be arranged to meet the needs of the students and the schedules of the host farms.

Jeff Taylor, production manager for Circle K Family Farms, LLC and Lafayette Pork Production, LLC says Swine Jobs School graduates have more chance for success than other employees entering their system.

“We are very pleased with the Swine Jobs School graduates currently working on our farms,” Taylor says. “We pay them a competitive wage and allow them the opportunity for advancement. Swine Jobs School graduates come into our system better prepared for the positions with a greater chance of success than if we hire new employees with the intent of training them internally.”

For more information about hog farm occupations in Michigan or for further training for your employees, contact Jerry May by e-mail mayg@msu.edu; phone (989) 875-5233 or Dale Rozeboom by e-mail rozeboom@msu.edu; or phone (517) 355-8398.

Swine Jobs School applications, a class syllabus and expectations for the on-farm training are available on the MSU Pork Team’s Web site at http://bit.ly/swinejobs.