Tim Safranski is looking for exotic boars to collect to preserve genetic diversity.
“We’re looking for producers who are raising hogs as a passion,” says Safranski, University of Missouri Extension swine specialist.
Safranski has been collecting semen one boar at a time as he finds unique small herds. Now he is soliciting help from hog producers with small herds across the nation.
To explain the program and teach boar owners how to collect semen, the first-ever “Boar Semen Collection/Processing Workshop for Small-Scale Farms” is set for Aug. 8-9 at the University of Missouri Trowbridge Livestock Center in Columbia, MO.
Safranski and Wayne Singleton of Purdue University will instruct the group in proper semen collection.
Registration is $100, but the fee is waived for producers who donate semen. “The only requirement is that they submit semen from two boars after completing the workshop,” notes Safranski.
The semen will be preserved at the USDA National Animal Germplasm Program at Fort Collins, CO, a workshop underwriter. “Once we have a sample frozen in liquid nitrogen, it will be available for use far into the future,” says Safranski.
He notes samples must be collected before the last of some of the herds are lost; some are endangered species.
Once-common breeds such as Hereford and Tamworth have fallen out of favor. Others including Gloucester, Old Spots, Mulefoot, Red Wattle and Saddleback are on the “critical” list of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, a workshop co-sponsor.
Another goal of the workshop is to connect different breeders from across the country that can exchange semen to help prevent inbreeding in their own herds, says Safranski.
Producers are invited to bring a rare-breed boar to the workshop for initial collection and training. The workshop will have 20 boars and 10 sows for practice in semen collection and artificial insemination.
For program information and registration, contact Safranski at (573) 884-7994 or SafranskiT@Missouri.edu.