Pork producers have a place to turn for advice and information in tough economic times thanks to a joint project of the Illinois Pork Producers Association and University of Illinois Extension. “Managing Pig Production in Tough Times” is a Web-based program that addresses several important decision areas for producers.

“We cannot change the very difficult economic conditions, but we can offer information to help producers manage their businesses,” says James Pettigrew, University of Illinois animal scientist who prepared the program. IPPA offered funding via checkoff dollars.

At the Web site, users will find presentations by industry experts. Among the presenters and topics are: Chris Hurt, Purdue University Extension on price risk; and from the University of Illinois, Rob Knox on reproduction, Larry Firkins on health and employees, Mike Ellis on management, Ted Funk on engineering, Hans Stein on nutrition and Pettigrew on feeding programs.

“Each of the seven specialists will offer three recommendations that have been carefully chosen to be helpful to producers,” Pettigrew explains.

A trip to Australia last winter inspired Pettigrew to pursue the Web site. “Sometimes you see things at home more clearly when you get away, and this experience focused my attention on how the university could help our own producers during these tough economic times,” he notes.

“We realize that these have been and continue to be rough times for pork producers dealing with escalating input costs,” says Phil Borgic, a pork producer from Nokomis, Ill., and IPPA president. “IPPA continues to look for ways to provide information that helps pork producers through these difficult financial times. This program has assembled a diverse group of experts who have focused in on some specific items that pork producers can do on their operations. These online seminars will allow producers to access the information when it works best for them.”