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Virginia 4-H and FFA Youth Swine Weekend

Livestock Update, April 2005

Dr. Mark J. Estienne Tidewater AREC, Suffolk, VA

Virginia Tech's Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center (TAREC) in Suffolk, VA invite youth (grades 6th - 12th) to attend the Second Annual Virginia 4-H and FFA Youth Swine Weekend on May 27 and 28, 2005. The objective of the event is to teach youth about hogs and swine production and management, and to expose young people to potential careers in the swine industry. Please plan to attend this educational, exciting and fun-filled weekend.

The event kicks off at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 27th with an Open House of the TAREC Swine Research Unit. Participants will tour the research facilities with stops in the breeding and gestation barn, farrowing house, nursery, and grower-finisher barn. Included will be educational information and "hands-on" learning activities. (To protect your hogs and those housed at the TAREC facilities, please wear freshly laundered clothing and footwear suitable for passing through a footbath. After leaving the swine unit, be sure to re-launder clothing and disinfect footwear before making contact with other swine.)

At 6:30 p.m., there will be a dinner. Following the meal, participants will hear speakers that address topics that have relevance to swine production and management. Dr. Mark Estienne, a Virginia Tech Swine Research Physiologist, will present a lecture entitled, "Good and bad behavior: Why pigs do what they do". Dr. Allen Harper, Virginia Tech Extension Animal Scientist, will then cover the topic, "Feeding and nutrition: What boys and girls and pigs have in common".

At 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 28th, Dr. Cindy Wood, a Virginia Tech Associate Professor, will instruct the Youth Pork Quality Assurance Program. This new certification program will allow youth to participate in a nationwide program that emphasizes producing safe, wholesome and nutritious pork for consumers. The program emphasizes the 10 good production practices that are important for pork producers to complete as they demonstrate their commitment to "quality assured" pork production.

After lunch (an "Old-fashioned Pig Pickin") and beginning at 1:00 p.m. there will be a Swine Quadrathalon Competition. Three- or four person teams of youth will test their knowledge of swine production and management in a competition that involves a written test, an oral presentation, a laboratory practicum and a quiz bowl. At 4:00 p.m. the weekend concludes with a Quadrathalon Awards Ceremony.

Registration forms are due May 13th, 2005. Additional information can be obtained by contacting:
Dr. Mark J. Estienne
Virginia Tech-Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center
6321 Holland Road
Suffolk, VA 23437
Phone: 757-657-6450, extension 114
Fax: 757-657-9333

Download Registration Form - PDF

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