Responding to the rapidly changing needs of pork producers, the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences is starting a new program focusing on applied research and two-way communication with state pork producers.

"This is a program to link research with the pork industry's needs," explains Michael Ellis, animal scientist and team leader. "We will work with producers to establish a research-based program for swine management." The University of Illinois extension department and the Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station are funding the project.

Research will be done on-site in actual production facilities. Initially, the program is focusing on two main areas. The first involves wean-to-finish production. While the other area concen-trates on pork quality and producing top-quality hogs.

The program is currently running at one site with additional sites under review. Ellis notes that the new program puts researchers in closer contact with producers and brings the talents of young graduate students to the industry.

For more information contact Michael Ellis at (217) 333-6455.