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Swine Notes

Livestock Update, September 2001

Cindy Wood, Animal & Poultry Sciences, VA Tech

Changes in NPPC and the National Pork Board
Because of the on-going controversy over the national pork checkoff program, many of the programs, materials, and information formerly supplied by NPPC are now being handled by the National Pork Board (NPB). The web site address for check off-funded programs (which would be most of the educational programs) is The NPPC website ( will focus on the legislative and public policy issue for its members. If you need educational materials for youth or adult swine producers, you may contact the NPB at 515-223-2600, or order them through the NPB web site. Some of the materials are free of charge, while others do have a cost associated with them. If you have producers who would like to certify or re-certify on the PQA program, Allen Harper or I would be happy to help. Allen also has organized EAP workshops for producers in Virginia.

Notes From The 2001 ASAS Meetings
The recent combined meetings of the American Society of Animal Science and the American Meat Science Association in Indianapolis, IN yielded a large number of papers on the topic of pigs, pork, and the swine industry. Pork quality, in particular, has received a huge amount of attention. As producers have responded to consumer demands for lean meat by selecting muscular animals with less backfat, and feeding those animals to maximize lean gain, pork quality has often suffered. The incidence of pale, soft, and exudative (PSE) pork has risen, the amount of marbling in the meat has decreased, and the texture has changed. Pumping fresh pork, similar to what has been done with processed hams for years, to enhance cooking characteristics has become an industry standard. In addition, nutritionists have begun to examine the nutrient requirements of pigs from the standpoint of their impact on the environment. The work done with phytase is a good example of that effort.

Over the course of four days, there were sessions devoted to on-farm certification programs; pork quality; the interaction between health and nutrition; biotechnology, animal products, and the food industry; amino acids, vitamins, and minerals in finishing pigs; genetic parameters of swine; extension education in swine; future U. S. swine industry; the genetics of carcass merit and meat quality; animal products in today's diet; animal production and the environment: challenges and solutions; weanling pig nutrient requirements; bioethics in animal science; enzymes, feed additives and environment management in finishing pigs; swine species management; a session devoted to the effect of conjugated linoleic acid on growth and development; a symposium on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO's) regarding animal behavior, care, and well being; safety of our meat supply; sow nutrition; ractopamine at one year of commercial application; an integrated approach to minimize animal waste excretion by optimizing feed utilization; waste management for swine; and metabolic factors affecting pork quality. If you would like to get more information about these topics, the ASAS web site ( has all the meeting abstracts posted. Over the next few months we will try to highlight some of the findings presented at these meetings. If you have a particular interest in a topic, let me know so it can move to the top of the list.

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