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This is a look back on the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) as it passes through its second year. In the next several months, Dr. Paul Sundberg, SHIC's Executive Director, will be sharing updates to producers and looking for feedback on how the center is working.

Below is a timeline of several key SHIC related presentations to help understand the background and the direction SHIC is currently taking.

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The 2016 North American PRRS conference held December 3‐4, 2016, in Chicago, Illinois, USA, offers academia and industry information on research and solutions being developed to tackle PRRS and related swine illnesses.

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Conversations throughout the Allen D. Leman pre-conference on Saturday and Sunday, as well as the Monday and Tuesday conference programs, were centered on moving information from researchers to producers, and vice-versa. It’s one of the reasons this conference has such a widely regarded international presence.

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Learn more about some of the sessions you missed with SwineCast's coverage of the 2016 Power Of The Past, Force Of The Future Customer Appreciation event [conference page], August 16, 2016, hosted by Rensselaer Swine Services and Bethany Swine Health Services, Jasper Country Fairgrounds, IN, USA.

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There are opportunities for U.S. pork in a global market. Will the TPP be one of those opportunities? Ambassador Darci Vetter, Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative, points out that global trade is moving with or without the U.S.

Ambassador Vetter shares metrics from the American Farm Bureau that says $5.8 Billion in cash receipts will be lost by just the livestock industry if Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is not passed and implemented.

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This Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit event brought together a great mix of people to help connect, educate, and protect agriculture, farming, and food.

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The 2016 BI AASV Pre-Conference Seminar focused on "Start Healthy, End Strong – Learning from Outside the Pen". Through perspectives from beef, poultry, and aquaculture experts, swine veterinarians discovered many lessons that could be applied to their practices.

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The Missouri Pork Expo brought some focus on reaching out to 4-H and FFA swine exhibitors. Session included helping young exhibitors learn about reducing the risks of animal health issues, proper use of medication, and developing awareness on animal welfare programs.

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There were many conversations in Iowa on the freedom to do business and adding equipment plus expertise to improve profits. Attorney Eldon McAfee shared the status on active nuisance cases; there are more in the courtroom this year than in recent memory as producers look for common ground with incoming neighborhoods [video].

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This annual conference featuring both research virologists and practitioners marked the release of the most important industry discovery in recent times. Dr. Randy Prather (University of Missouri) shared his findings on the genetic key to PRRS resistance [video][slides].

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The 2015 Allen D. Leman Swine Conference was the focus of various swine health & disease issues plus research to help both veterinarians and farm management /staff. Also this year, the Pijoan Lectures continue with Dr. Linda Saif sharing info on coronaviruses and their global threats to humans and animals and Dr. Carol Cardona providing a review of the H5N2 epidemic [fyi link].

All episodes are on SwineCast.com [link]

The complete agenda and informational guide can be found in the online conference program or pre-conference program.


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Human and animal health experts came together in Atlanta, GA for the fifth NIAA Antibiotic Symposium to discuss issues related to antibiotic resistance and to work toward increased antibiotic stewardship, in both human medicine and animal health.

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The 2015 Carolina Swine Health Seminar focused this year on antibiotics and the new directions via the Veterinary Feed Directive. Also timely is the presentation by Dr. Robert Desrosiers on Emerging Diseases:The Past and Future.

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Through the Pork Checkoff, research and tools are developed to help understand / manage disease issues like PEDV, provide updates on consumer preferences, and share position conversations around antibiotics. These presentations help management and staff communicate with consumers, and integrate economics into daily farm decision making process.

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Water and the Future of Animal Agriculture The 2015 NIAA Annual Conference: Water and the Future of Animal Agriculture, March 23 - March 26, 2015, Indianapolis, IN, USA, brought out conversations around the issues of water, the perceptions of agriculture by media, and what agriculture groups need to think about in their conversations with consumers, the public, and media.

Of note:

  • Ms. Aubrey Bettencourt, Executive Director with California Water Alliance, passionately shares her views on the trends in the politicization of water in California and the rest of the US. Ms. Bettencourt says we [in agriculture] need to tell consumers and the public at large what we want them to know [about the water crisis]. "We have to speak to it with confidence and show that we know what we are doing" [video].
  • Dr. Jay Famiglietti, Associate Professor at University of California, Irvine and Senior Water Scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, shares data and analysis of the issues of water, with a focus on the current water problems in California. Key message: "Take ownership [of water conversations], clearly articulate the issues, and become industry leaders and stewards" [video].


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Antibiotics, Trade, and Pork Quality The 2015 World Pork Expo (June 3 - 5, 2015, Des Moines, IA, USA) offered other interests beyond the past several years of PEDv: International Trade and Pork Quality sessions offered inside on how consumer are driving business. Also on the conversation channels: Antibiotics and new changes shared by the U.S. FDA.

Of note:

  • The U.S. FDA released new information on the use of antibiotics and agriculture. Dr. Jennifer Koeman, National Pork Board, and Dr. Harry Snelson, American Association Swine Veterinarians, break down the new changes and their implications. Dr. Koeman and Dr. Snelson also provide producers guidance points on what to do to prepare farms and staff [video].
  • Dr. Chris Hostetler, National Pork Board, points out the definition of Sow Lifetime Productivity and provides data that challenges some of the traditional views of improving Sow Lifetime Productivity. Dr. Hostetler offers research that can help improve productivity. Key take away: Improvement in sow lifetime productivity will substantially impact profitability of all phases of production [video].


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This Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit event brought together a great mix of people to help connect, educate, and protect agriculture, farming, and food.

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Today food conversations are too fragmented and many times contentious. Danielle Nierenberg and FoodTank aim to bring the conversations of food to the forefront through digital channels, live events with large media channels (like the New York Times), and conversations with groups while eating a meal.

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The Pork Industry Forum, held March 5-7, 2015 in San Antonio, TX, gathered pork producers looking to gain insights on the Checkoff funded programs and the policy activities being pursued.
Of note:

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Water in California is past a crisis yet action seem limited. The Public Policy Institute of California brought together several panels to talk about the issues, concerns, possible solutions, and actions that all involved need to consider. Presentations & discussion held April 10, 2014, Sacramento, CA, USA.

More info at http://agtoday.us/ppic-pay4water-info-page

Presentation links are below.

Additional shareable links

Introduction by Ellen Hanak with an Overview of the PPIC Water Finance Study

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Sustainability is something agriculture is working to understand, measure, and take action on. This is being done from a variety of angles and groups. The 2014 Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB), November 2 -5, 2014, São Paulo, Brazil, provides information on the types of sustainability efforts occurring in and around beef.

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Consumers are concerned about antibiotic resistance and are demanding action from farmers and ranchers. Physicians worry that antibiotic over use in human health will also be impacted. To help understand the issues, researchers and experts from all aspects of human and animal health came together to continue the dialog and make plans for change around the use of antibiotics.

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Transgenic, or genetic engineering, of animals continues to evolve. Genetic engineering is not a technology that is going to replace standard breeding methods. Rather, it will add access to genetic variation, increasing the pool of genetic diversity that can be worked with.

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The 2014 Carolina Swine Health Seminar provided information on the science behind the Delta Coronavirus. Dr. Steven Krakowka, The Ohio State University, highlighted a new perspective that you'll want to share with farm production staff and management.