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Science of swine

By Staff | Feb 3, 2012

The 2011 Iowa Pork Princess, Chelsey Branderhorst, center, visits with, Kelly Collins, left, and David Meisinger at the 2012 Iowa Pork Congress on Jan. 26 in Des Moines.

By DARCY

DOUGHERTY

MAULSBY

Farm News staff writer

DES MOINES – Pork producers and people interested in pursuing careers in the pork industry don’t have to go to the Iowa State University campus to receive undergraduate training in swine science, thanks to the popular Swine Science Online curriculum.

“This unique educational opportunity gives people the opportunity to take classes from some of the most knowledgeable experts in the field through the first and only online courses focused on swine,” said David Meisinger, director of the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence at ISU.

He visited with attendees of the Iowa Pork Producers Association’s 40th annual Iowa Pork Congress in Des Moines on Jan. 25 and Jan. 26.

The ultimate goal of the Swine Science Online Program is to have more academically trained students entering the pork industry, said Meisinger, who noted that people who earn a Swine Science Online certificate can pursue a variety of careers, including swine production management, swine genetic sales consultant, regional swine sales manager, swine building construction, swine pharmaceuticals and swine feed sales.

New directions

Swine Science Online teaches the scientific principles and management skills that contribute to efficient, sustainable pork production. The program helps ensure that the pork industry is led by people who have broad educational and production experiences, Meisinger said.

Swine Science Online courses are delivered to universities across the country through Agriculture Interactive Distance Education Alliance, a premier distance education collaboration that provides credit toward inter-institutional undergraduate certificates.

Courses offered through Swine Science Online include basic swine science, swine breeding and gestation management, farrowing management, swine nursery and finishing management, employee management, marketing and risk management, swine health and biosecurity, pork export markets, swine environment management, swine manure and nutrient management, swine business and records analysis, pork product and quality safety, swine feed mill management, and contemporary issues in the swine industry. The courses are taught by leading faculty members from a number of universities.

“While these online courses are taught by university professors, you won’t find any of these courses offered on campus at universities,” said Meisinger, who noted that Swine Science Online instructors hail from ISU, the University of Nebraska, South Dakota State University, North Carolina State University and other ag schools.

After completing required and elective courses through Swine Science Online, students will be able to apply for a Swine Science Online Certificate that is administered by the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence.

Contact Darcy Dougherty Maulsby by e-mail at yettergirl@yahoo.com.

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