Artificial insemination has moved into a major breeding role on most pork operations today. Regardless of whether the boar semen originates from a supplier or on-farm collection, the capacity to establish high pregnancy rates and large litter size is linked to semen fertility. Ensuring that you have the highest quality boar semen depends upon critical procedures during collection, processing, evaluation and storage.

University of Illinois Extension and Department of Animal Sciences is offering a workshop on Feb. 28, and March 1, 2002, to deliver the newest information to help you produce high quality boar semen on a day-to-day basis. The workshop will take place on the University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana Campus, Urbana, Ill.

It will feature three lecture sessions, each of which is followed by interactive exercises with technical experts. The workshop features Tom Gall from “ Pork Technologies” an expert in boar-stud management, and Wayne Singleton, Purdue University, a leading expert on AI and boar fertility.

The University of Illinois also will involve several reproductive specialists, including: boar fertility specialists Rob Knox, Sherrie Clark and Chris Kuster. They will lead sessions on fertility estimation through microscopic, spectrophotometric and computerized semen analysis. Also on the program are reproductive physiologists Dave Miller, Matt Wheeler and Charles Graves, who will report on laboratory techniques for fertility. They will deliver the newest information on cryopreservation and in vitro measures of boar fertility.

The University of Illinois Extension, University of Illinois Department of Animal Sciences, Illinois Pork Producers Association, and Commercial exhibitors are program sponsors.

Enrollment is limited to the first 40 registrants. The cost is $200 per person, lodging not included. To register, send a check payable to University of Illinois, attention Marilyn Brengle, Unit Leader, University of Illinois Extension, 801 N. Country Fair Drive, Suite D, Champaign, IL 61821.

For more information, contact Rob Knox at (217) 244-5177 or e-mail rknox@uiuc.edu, or contact Ed Ballard (217) 347-5126 or e-mail him at ballarde@mail.aces.uiuc.edu.