The need for a knowledgeable and skilled workforce for the U.S. swine industry has never been greater, but budget pressures at major universities, community colleges and technical schools throughout the country have created a shortfall of practical swine production coursework and training. The U.S. Pork Center of Excellence (USPCE) has taken the lead in developing two educational and career paths with a swine production focus:
• Swine Science Online is a college-level program targeting juniors and seniors. “This is an academic, problem-solving, critical-thinking type of program distinctly different than a community college program,” explains USPCE Director David Meisinger. Much of the beta testing was completed last year, and the laboratory portion of the curriculum was beta tested this spring.
• Professional Swine Manager/Technician Certification and Education Program is a community college/technical school-based initiative focused on the skills needed for success at the production level. “This coursework is more hands-on, applied for the student who wants to work with pigs,” Meisinger says.

The Professional Swine Manager Certification and Education Program is in the early stages of development, with completion targeted for fall 2012.

Swine Science Online

Swine Science Online coursework focuses on practical production and current pork industry issues, with emphasis on scientific principles and management skills.

“The ultimate goal of the Swine Science Online Program is to have more academically trained students entering the pork industry,” explains USPCE Program Coordinator Maggie DenBeste. “The mission is to be the premier resource for the education and training of pork professionals and to benefit the pork industry by inspiring career interest through academic training and application.”

“Seventeen courses are built around phase-based disciplines. Rather than have our own reproductive management, nutrition, genetics and so on, the courses are built around stages of production from a pork producer’s standpoint,” Meisinger explains.

Required courses include swine health and biosecurity, employee management, and production management with emphasis on the breeding-gestation, farrowing or nursery-finish phases. Students may fill out their coursework with electives in several areas, such as feedmill management, marketing and risk management, pork quality and safety, export markets, manure and nutrient management, and contemporary issues in the swine industry. A basic lab course and internship are also required.

“We’re teaching the ‘whys’ in Swine Science Online vs. the ‘how-tos’ taught at the community colleges and technical schools,” Meisinger explains. “We develop the learning objectives and the modules for the courses, then the instructors develop their lesson plans, the daily PowerPoint presentations, all of the activities, and tape their presentations,” DenBeste adds.

Each distance-learning course is taught during a 12-week period that falls within the semester schedules of participating universities. Students must complete 15 hours of credit during a 12-week timeframe. The basic laboratory requirement is a week-long course offered at select universities. The hands-on lab sessions focus on skill sets such as artificial insemination, baby pig processing, computer-based marketing, etc.

Instructors for the various courses are from several universities, with registration coordinated and administrated by Ag*Idea, an interactive distance education alliance that currently includes 13 land grant universities. Ag*Idea has negotiated a common, per-credit tuition fee that will apply across institutions participating in Swine Science Online. The fees are split with 75% going to the teaching institution, 12.5% to the university where the student is enrolled, and 12.5% to Ag*Idea for administrative costs.

For additional information, go to http://www.usporkcenter.org/home/projects/swine-science-online.aspx or www.agidea.org/majorsDegrees
Courses.html; click on “Swine Science.”

Swine Manager Certification

The need for a knowledgeable and skilled workforce for the U.S. swine industry has never been greater, but budget pressures at major universities, community colleges and technical schools throughout the country have created a shortfall of practical swine production coursework and training. The U.S. Pork Center of Excellence (USPCE) has taken the lead in developing two educational and career paths with a swine production focus:
• Swine Science Online is a college-level program targeting juniors and seniors. “This is an academic, problem-solving, critical-thinking type of program distinctly different than a community college program,” explains USPCE Director David Meisinger. Much of the beta testing was completed last year, and the laboratory portion of the curriculum was beta tested this spring.
• Professional Swine Manager/Technician Certification and Education Program is a community college/technical school-based initiative focused on the skills needed for success at the production level. “This coursework is more hands-on, applied for the student who wants to work with pigs,” Meisinger says.

The Professional Swine Manager Certification and Education Program is in the early stages of development, with completion targeted for fall 2012.

Swine Science Online

Swine Science Online coursework focuses on practical production and current pork industry issues, with emphasis on scientific principles and management skills.

“The ultimate goal of the Swine Science Online Program is to have more academically trained students entering the pork industry,” explains USPCE Program Coordinator Maggie DenBeste. “The mission is to be the premier resource for the education and training of pork professionals and to benefit the pork industry by inspiring career interest through academic training and application.”

“Seventeen courses are built around phase-based disciplines. Rather than have our own reproductive management, nutrition, genetics and so on, the courses are built around stages of production from a pork producer’s standpoint,” Meisinger explains.

Required courses include swine health and biosecurity, employee management, and production management with emphasis on the breeding-gestation, farrowing or nursery-finish phases. Students may fill out their coursework with electives in several areas, such as feedmill management, marketing and risk management, pork quality and safety, export markets, manure and nutrient management, and contemporary issues in the swine industry. A basic lab course and internship are also required.

“We’re teaching the ‘whys’ in Swine Science Online vs. the ‘how-tos’ taught at the community colleges and technical schools,” Meisinger explains. “We develop the learning objectives and the modules for the courses, then the instructors develop their lesson plans, the daily PowerPoint presentations, all of the activities, and tape their presentations,” DenBeste adds.

Each distance-learning course is taught during a 12-week period that falls within the semester schedules of participating universities. Students must complete 15 hours of credit during a 12-week timeframe. The basic laboratory requirement is a week-long course offered at select universities. The hands-on lab sessions focus on skill sets such as artificial insemination, baby pig processing, computer-based marketing, etc.

Instructors for the various courses are from several universities, with registration coordinated and administrated by Ag*Idea, an interactive distance education alliance that currently includes 13 land grant universities. Ag*Idea has negotiated a common, per-credit tuition fee that will apply across institutions participating in Swine Science Online. The fees are split with 75% going to the teaching institution, 12.5% to the university where the student is enrolled, and 12.5% to Ag*Idea for administrative costs.

For additional information, go to http://www.usporkcenter.org/home/projects/swine-science-online.aspx or www.agidea.org/majorsDegrees
Courses.html; click on “Swine Science.”

Swine Manager Certification