The Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) and the University of Illinois Extension service have introduced an interactive Web site to provide assistance to pork producers during these unsettling economic times.

“Managing Pig Production in Tough Times” is an online program that covers a number of key decision areas for producers. The website, ippa.ansci.uiuc.edu, features seven presentations by swine industry experts. The presenters from the University of Illinois and their topics include: Rob Knox (reproduction), Larry Firkins (health and employees), Mike Ellis (management), Ted Funk (engineering), Hans Stein (nutrition), and James Pettigrew (feeding programs). In addition, Chris Hurt, Purdue University Extension economist will discuss risk management.

“Each of the seven specialists will offer three recommendations carefully chosen to be helpful to producers,” Pettigrew explained.

Additionally, a special call-in program has been scheduled for producers to ask specific questions. The program will be from 7 to 8 p.m. on August 19. Those with questions may dial-in at 1-800-347-8268. The meeting's identification number is 6455 and the password is 0819.

Questions may also be submitted in advance of the meeting by simply clicking on the address of the appropriate specialist on the Web site. If you’re unsure of whom to direct a question to, producers may e-mail Pettigrew at jepettig@uiuc.edu.

The program should prove of great assistance to producers, according to IPPA President Phil Borgic of Nokomis, IL. “We realize that these have been and continue to be very rough times for pork producers dealing with escalating input costs,” he noted.

“IPPA continues to look for ways to provide information that helps pork producers through these difficult financial times. This program has assembled a diverse group of experts who have focused in on some specific items that pork producers can do on their operations. These on-line seminars will allow producers to access the information when it works best for them.”

“We cannot change the very difficult conditions, but we can offer information on this site to help producers manage their business,” added Pettigrew.