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Thriving in a Competitive Market:
1997 Virginia Pork Industry Conference

Livestock Update, December 1996

Allen Harper, Extension Swine Specialist
John Parker, Virginia Pork Industry Assn.

Mark you calendar for January 23 and 24 as the dates of the 1997 Virginia Pork Industry Conference. Based on a positive experience in 1996, the conference will return to the Airfield 4-H and Conference Center near Wakefield, Virginia. This location provides excellent accommodations, food and meeting space.

The conference provides the opportunity for pork industry business meetings, and for producers and pork industry people to visit, exchange ideas and learn about solutions to problems from one another. But the main attraction of the annual conference is the useful and informative educational program. The planning committee has developed an excellent program for the 1997 conference for the morning, afternoon, and evening of Friday, January 24.

The morning program will focus on economic planning for the hog business and on farm quality control measures to ensure success in the hog business. Dave Kenyon, agricultural economist with Virginia Tech, will outline strategies to successfully meet the challenge of volatile markets in feed ingredients, production supplies and live hogs. Such planning is vital to success in pork production given the current uncertainty in the cost of feed ingredients and other production inputs and the presence of competing meats in the marketplace. Margaret Hardin, director of pork safety with the National Pork Producers Council, will address the critical topic of pork quality control from production on the farm to consumption on the dinner plate. Of special importance to Hardin's approach to quality control is optimal use of the "hazard analysis and critical control point" or HAACP management concept on swine farm operation. Following the HAACP program all producers present will have an opportunity before an awards luncheon to sign on as Level II Pork Quality Assurance producers and to visit with sponsors and product exhibitors at the conference.

Management of the breeding herd continues to be of critical importance to profitability in hog production. The afternoon program focuses on this important area. Dan Johnson, manager of artificial insemination programs with Carroll's Foods, will give an insiders look at A.I. methodology at Carroll's including boar stud operation in conjunction with company and contract sow units. Mark Estienne, swine specialist at the University of Maryland on the Eastern Shore, will give a "herdsman's overview" of reproductive function in the sow and how management in the gestation barn and farrowing room can impact reproduction. Of special relevance to Dr. Estienne's subject is the impact of early weaning systems on reproductive function in the sow herd. To complete the afternoon program, Billy Flowers, swine reproduction specialist at North Carolina State University, will layout practical breeding systems and mating strategies that work efficiently on hog farms. Dr. Flower's presentation will include natural mating and A.I. approaches as well as how producers can successfully utilize these systems.

A get reacquainted social will precede the conference banquet that evening. Participants can look forward to a delicious pork meal prepared in the old Virginia tradition followed by an informative keynote address from Larry Graham, Vice President/CEO of the National Pork Producers Council. Mr. Graham will provide an update on NPPC activities and a progress report of our national organization's effort to increase consumption and make pork the meat of choice by the year 2000.

1997 Virginia Pork Industry Conference
January 23 & 24, 1997 -- Airfield 4-H and Conference Center
Wakefield, Virginia

(Please Pre-Register by January 10, 1997)

A large portion of the meal cost is free; however, in order to keep the cost low, we must know how many meals to prepare. Pre-registration allows us to better serve you and helps keep costs to a minimum. All those who attend any portion of the conference are required to register. Meals cannot be guaranteed to on-site registrants.

State__________________________ ZIP__________________

  # of Persons
by 1/10/97
_____ Registration$10___________ $15___________
_____ Lunch (1/24) $ 7___________  $10___________
_____ Banquet (1/24) $10___________  $15___________
TOTAL$___________  $ ___________

A limited number of executive style rooms, each with two double beds are available for participants who wish to spend the night(s) of January 23 or 24 at the Conference Center. Early reservations of these rooms is essential. Room reservations should be made by direct contact with Airfield 4-H & Conference Center, (757) 899-4901. Room rates including tax are $52.25 for a single and $70.02 for a double. Checks payable to Airfield Conference Center or cash only, credit cards cannot be accepted.

For conference registration and meals, make checks payable to: Virginia Pork Conference

Mail to:

Virginia Pork Conference
6321 Holland Rd.
Suffolk, VA 23437
Phone: (757) 657-6450 FAX: (757) 657-9333

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