The Pork Information Gateway is the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence's first product. PIG is a new information network to provide pork producers with an easy way to get answers to everyday challenges in pork production. It will provide pork producers and others with an opportunity to find information and to ask questions of experts within 16 categories related to swine or pork. The intuitive, easy-to-use system allows pork producers to find timely and practical information immediately, says David Meisinger, the pork center's executive director.

"This product was the result of three years of hard work by many Extension specialists from all over the country," he says,  "The dynamic program will keep growing as producers ask questions which will become part of the growing database."

Air quality is the Center's first research focus. Specific goals to improve air quality and mitigating swine odors will be established. Then research goals will be set and projects to meet those goals developed.

Regional swine schools will make up the Center's educational component. These schools will provide students the opportunity to gain in-depth learning in practical pork production. "In the past five years, the number of institutions offering swine production as a class option has been cut in half," notes Meisinger. "Students attending these swine schools will learn the basic 'whys' of pork production and be ready to be trained in the 'hows' by pork producers who hire them."

The U.S. Pork Center of Excellence was established in 2005 as a public/private partnership to bring together academic expertise in research, teaching and extension related to pork production. There are two governmental agencies, two industry associations, seven state pork producer associations and 20 land-grant universities involved in the coalition.

U.S. Pork Center of Excellence