Months of testing has culminated in the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence launching classes at six universities through Swine Science Online.

Starting this month, classes are being offered at Colorado State University, Iowa State University, North Carolina State University, South Dakota State University, the University of Nebraska and the University of Missouri.

“The Swine Science Online curriculum is an exciting new way for students to really streamline their college degree,” says Jodi Sterle, associate professor and Extension swine specialist at Texas A&M University. “This knowledge and experience is exactly what the industry is looking for in its new employees.”

The result is students become more marketable and appealing to employers upon graduation, says Tim Safranski, associate professor at the University of Missouri.

“Being able to take these courses from such prominent specialists can really set them apart from other graduates as they pursue careers with pigs,” Safranski adds. “We’re really excited to have this opportunity to provide our students in-depth training in this comprehensive coverage of swine production.”

The Swine Science Online curriculum provides a special combination of classes and real world experience for students, says Tom Baas, professor of animal science at Iowa State University.

“The wide range of classes that are offered provides endless opportunities to gain experience and awareness in numerous areas that will be beneficial to all participants,”
Baas adds. “The Swine Science Online program is an excellent way for students to obtain knowledge and training that will enhance their understanding of all aspects of the pork industry.”

The program fits a busy schedule, says Dana Hanson, associate professor at North Carolina State University.

“The online curriculum gives students from across the nation an opportunity to study swine science at their convenience,” Hanson says. “Students can custom-design their course of study in swine science, oftentimes filling gaps with classes not offered at the university they attend.”

In short, students who have taken Swine Science Online will be better prepared, says Maggie DenBeste, program coordinator at the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence.

“The ultimate goal of the Swine Science Online program is to have more academically trained students entering the pork industry,” DenBeste says. “After completing required and elective courses, students will be able to apply for a Swine Science Online certificate administered by the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence.”

Seven courses offered this fall encompass basic swine science, swine health and biosecurity, breeding, gestation and farrowing management, swine business and records analysis, swine environment management and contemporary issues in the swine industry. Instructors from across the country are used to teach academic programs in swine production and management.

To learn more, visit www.usporkcenter.org/home/projects/swine-science-online.aspx.