A pork producer with 3,000 pigs who reduces daily costs by just a dime per pig saves more than $100,000 annually. Sound management and production strategies make such savings possible and allow the producer to remain competitive and profitable.

Beginning in August, the University of Missouri will offer the state's pork producers the opportunity to both learn and see the latest cost-reducing innovations and strategies in the industry through a new program, the MU Pork College.

"We'll be addressing all aspects of hog production through a series of lunchtime teleconferences, interactive TV conferences and site tours," says Joe Zulovich, agricultural engineer with the MU Commercial Agriculture Program. "We begin Aug. 22 and cover a new topic every three weeks through Dec. 16."

Among the topics scheduled for the program, include feeders and watering systems, animal grouping, reproductive management, optimizing manure value, and facility maintenance and options. The program also includes three tours that will take producers to an automatic sorting facility, a contract operation and to hoop and high-rise facilities.

"The tours offer producers an opportunity to see some facilities that they would not likely have access to otherwise," says Zulovich. "It'll allow them to see how certain systems could be applied to their own operations."

Cost to participate in any or all of the MU PorkCollege's 15 sessions is $50 per farm. Cost includes tour transportation, tour meals and educational handouts. Participants are responsible for their transportation to and from Columbia to join the tours.

Registration and detailed schedule information will be available after July 1 online at http://agebb.missouri.edu/commag/. Click the "Swine Team" button, and then choose "Educational Events."

For more information, contact Zulovich or Amy Schmidt at (573) 882-2731 or ZulovichJ@missouri.edu.

University of Missouri