Michigan State University (MSU) Extension is teaming up with JBS United to offer pork producers and their employees the Managing High Performance Sow Herds educational program. The intent of the program is to discuss important aspects of maintaining and/or achieving acceptable performance within a respective sow herd. This educational program is set to take place in four locations across the state and will include: Allegan County MSU Extension Office on Wednesday, February 8, Isabella County MSU Extension Office on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012, Cass County MSU Extension Office on Wednesday, Feb. 15,2012 and the Dearth Community Center on the Branch County Fairgrounds on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012. The program is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. and end by 8:00 p.m. at all locations.

Topics to be covered include: understanding your benchmarks, Dr. Ron Bates, state swine specialist, importance of mating sows at the proper time, Dr. Steve Webel, JBS United, managing early sowhood transitions, Dr. Dale Rozeboom, Extension specialist, employee’s role in health management, Beth Ferry, MSU Extension educator, supplemental feeding piglets, Jerry May, MSU Extension educator, and maintaining sow body condition, Tom Guthrie, MSU Extension educator.

Registration fee for the Managing High Performance Sow Herds program is $35 per person, $30 per person for five or more per farm or $350 for unlimited number of participants per farm. Registration deadline for the Allegan and Mt. Pleasant meetings is Feb. 3, 2012. Registration deadline for the Cassopolis and Coldwater meetings is Feb. 10, 2012.

Additionally, for interested producers, Transport Quality Assurance (1 p.m.) and Pork Quality Assurance Plus (3 p.m.) certification sessions will take place before the Managing High Performance Sow Herds program at each location. Cost of each quality assurance certification is $20.

For more information on the Managing High Performance Sow Herds program you may visit the MSU Pork Team website. You may also contact Dr. Ron Bates at 517-432-1387 (batesr@msu.edu) or Tom Guthrie 517-788-4292 (guthri19@anr.msu.edu).