The theme of this year’s Workforce Development Seminar is “Animal Care is Our Priority.” The conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 18 at the Country Inn and Suites, Mankato, MN. This annual event covers current issues and provides new information for those who raise and care for hogs. The seminar is sponsored by the Minnesota Pork Board and Pork Checkoff.

This year’s seminar topics include the following:

  • “Communicating What We Do,” features Cindy Cunningham, assistant vice president for Communications, National Pork Board, who will present tips on how to share your knowledge and experience as a hog farmer and animal caretaker with others.
  •   “A National Perspective on Animal Care,” features a representative from the National Pork Producers Council, who will update attendees on how groups that oppose animal agriculture and meat consumption advance their agenda by intimidating and misinforming retailers.
  • “Making Sure Your House is in Order,” features Carissa Odland, DVM, a swine veterinarian for the Pipestone (MN) Veterinary Clinic, who will discuss crucial areas where animal caretakers need to pay special attention.
  • “The Bulls-Eye is on Us,” features David Preisler, Minnesota Pork Producers Association executive director, who will discuss the methods and misinformation campaigns that animal extremist groups use to target hog farmers and the pork industry.
  • “Creating the Right Barn Culture,” features Odland defining barn culture and how it impacts animal care and animal well-being. This session will review the ethical principles and animal well-being principles of We Care.

Preregistration is encouraged. Registration will be accepted at the door if space is available. The preregistration fee is $20 per person if paid by Sept. 20. Registration at the door will be $40. Registration includes materials, lunch and refreshments.

Online registration will be available at www.mnpork.com beginning Aug. 13. For more information, contact Minnesota Pork Board Assistant Executive Director Jeremy Geske at (507) 345-8814.