Even though the cool weather has lingered on, it’s nearly the official start of summer. The cool, low humidity days have been good for people and pigs.
Soon, however, there will be stretches of hot and humid weather to contend with. To help livestock and poultry deal with summer conditions, a new app on heat stress has been developed, according to the Iowa Pork Industry Center....More
At World Pork Expo last week, the Pork Checkoff announced new and improved tools to assist pork producers in evaluating the financial impact of sow housing choices, improving workplace safety, reducing their environmental footprint and identifying problems within breeding stock.
Sow Housing Calculator
A new Sow Housing Calculator will assist producers in making important decisions about remodeling or other facility or management choices on the farm....More
As part of Tyson Foods’ commitment to proper treatment of farm animals, the company Thursday announced the formation of an independent Farm Animal Well-Being Advisory Panel. Members will serve as advisers to the Tyson FarmCheck program, a comprehensive initiative designed to ensure responsible care and overall well-being of farm animals....More
This week the American Meat Institute (AMI) released a video tour of a pork slaughter plant hosted by leading animal welfare expert Temple Grandin, professor of animal science at Colorado State University....More
The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) has provided $150,000 to support two programs in the Iowa State University (ISU) College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. One encourages budding entrepreneurs to return to rural Iowa and another supports the expansion of swine welfare training.
The Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative will receive $100,000 and the animal science department’s applied research in animal care and well-being project will receive $50,000....More
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-OR) have introduced the “Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2013.” This legislation, known as the “egg bill,” would codify the 2011 agreement between the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the United Egg Producers (UEP)....More
Domesticated animals deserve respect and care. That’s animal welfare – and a priority of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), an organization comprised of livestock, equine, poultry and aquaculture producers, producer organizations, veterinarians, extension personnel, academicians, scientists, federal and state regulatory agencies and allied industry. Jim Fraley, Livestock Program Director for Illinois Farm Bureau and co-chair of NIAA’s Animal Care Council, stresses that animal welfare and animal rights, however, are not the same....More
Over objections from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the Kentucky Board of Agriculture approved standards Tuesday for the care of farm animals, according to a report by Janet Patton in the Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader.
HSUS said Agriculture Commissioner James Comer had promised a public hearing before a vote....More
The Center for Food Integrity and the U.S. pork and dairy industries have launched “See It? Stop It!? Animal care starts with you,” a proactive demonstration of agriculture’s commitment to farm animal care. The initiative empowers, and in fact, demands that if signs of animal abuse, neglect, mishandling or harm are witnessed, anyone working on a farm or in a farm setting has an obligation to report it immediately. ...More
Pork producers are taking visitors on a virtual tour to show how farmers are using technology to protect their pigs and the environment, thanks to new videos on the Pork Checkoff’s new YouTube channel.
“We know the pork industry’s messages resonate when they are delivered by farmers,” says Teresa Roof, public relations manager for the Pork Checkoff. “Farmers have many positive stories to share, and YouTube videos offer a powerful way to share these stories.”...More
Scott Hurd, DVM, is launching a new blog at the Meathingplace.com Web site. According to Meatingplace.com, “The Gentle Vet” blog will be an outlet from which Hurd will provide insight pertaining to medical and animal welfare issues and myths affecting the meat processing industry....More
Transporting hogs to packing plants can produce casualties: 0.27% of groups arriving at packing plants were classified as “subject,” based on an earlier study by Cate Dewey, DVM, University of Guelph in Ontario....More
While the time and effort placed on winterizing hog facilities is well spent, from an economic standpoint, there are probably more reasons to prepare barns for the summer’s heat.
An estimate of the economic loss from heat stress for various U.S. livestock industries, conducted by Norm R. St-Pierre and associates at Ohio State University in 2003, showed the average annual loss due to heat stress was costing the pork industry about $300 million....More
The Intelligence Surveillance System (ISS) from Conception Ro-Main, Inc., was recently awarded the F.X. Aherne Prize for Innovative Pork Production at the 2013 Banff Pork Seminar in Banff, Alberta, Canada. This new technology is designed to significantly reduce energy costs while providing optimal ambient temperature for piglets in a micro-zone area under a specially designed creep cover....More
In a narrative dubbed over a video track of 35 images depicting America’s farmers and ranchers, the late Paul Harvey, in his trademark cadence, delivered the thoughtful message — “So God Made a Farmer” — captured from his keynote address at the 1978 Future Farmers of America (FFA) convention....More
When it comes to the use of antibiotics in pork production, some things boil down to simple logic. We all know that appropriate antibiotic use can keep both animals and humans healthy. We also know that only antibiotics approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are used to treat hogs, and that veterinarians oversee which antibiotics are used to treat, prevent and control swine diseases. Healthy pigs grow better and eat less feed. And healthy pigs are directly related to a safer food supply. Of course, veterinarians work closely with farmers to make decisions on which pigs may need antibiotics to treat or prevent disease. Remember, those antibiotics do come at a cost, which means pork producers focus on preventing the need and expense of using antibiotics unnecessarily in their herds. In spite of this simple logic, we still have wild statements about the amount and intent of antibiotic use in pork production flying around in the news. Sadly, it’s all in the wording. Recent news stories and statements seem particularly designed to incite fear among consumers....More
British pig farmers are challenging food manufacturers, retailers and caterers to give a public commitment that they are not selling illegally-produced meat from farms that are flouting new European welfare legislation outlawing the prolonged confinement of sows in gestation stalls.
They have set up a Web site “Wall-of-Fame-and-Shame,” which will list companies that have pledged to source imported pork products only from farms that are operating legally....More
Fearing arrest under laws pushed by the agriculture industry, animal rights activists have halted undercover camera investigations into animal cruelty in five farm states, including Iowa and Utah where the laws went into effect last year, according to a report from ABC News.
“We are not conducting our investigations in those five states,” says Nathan Runkle, executive director of Mercy for Animals, a group whose most recent hidden-camera exposé led to criminal charges against employees at the largest dairy farm in Idaho....More
Two pork producers were among the four winners announced this week by the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) for its Faces of Farming & Ranching program, a nationwide search launched in summer 2012 to help put real faces on American agriculture. More than 100 applications were submitted from passionate, dedicated farmers and ranchers across the country....More
The role of meat and other animal products in Americans’ diets continues to come under fire, with activist organizations’ continued efforts to push for the introduction of meatless meals in the home, in the workplace, in school cafeterias and even in state legislatures.
The Animal Agriculture Alliance learned this week that popular Food Network, Inc. personality, Giada De Laurentis launched her 2013 season with an episode entitled “Meatless Mondays.”...More
The need for agriculture to maintain the public's support of animal production practices while at the same time provide enough food for the world will be examined by experts at Purdue University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Balancing Act: Meeting the Growing Demands for Food, Enhanced Animal Well-being and Consumer Trust” will be the topic of discussion Feb. 2 during the annual Ag Forecast...More
I know you care what your customers think, because one of the most-read stories on the National Hog Farmer Web site the past few weeks reports on a consumer perception survey conducted by Purdue University last summer. Here’s what else I know, you are doing a good job caring for your animals and producing a safe, affordable pork product. But are consumers aware of the real story behind how pork is produced?...More
A first-of-its kind effort to provide a centralized resource where Iowans can receive information about appropriate farm animal care was announced today in Des Moines by a unique coalition of farmers, animal well-being experts, veterinarians and industry leaders....More