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Ohio Pork Congress is planned as ongoing producer education
 
By CELESTE BAUMGARTNER
Ohio Correspondent

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The 2013 Ohio Pork Congress is set for Feb. 12-13 at the Crowne Plaza North in Columbus. Anyone interested in the pork industry will want to see and learn about the latest pork industry technology.

On Feb. 13, producers are invited to the Pork Congress Symposium, a day of educational seminars featuring experts from around the country. The trade show will offer the latest information from agribusinesses throughout the nation.

During the morning session Mark Klassen, animal handling and welfare specialist for Elanco Animal Health, will be talking about animal handling, said Dale Ricker, Ohio State University program specialist. Millions of dollars are lost in the industry during transport and handling.

“It is trim loss,” Ricker explained, “bruises that would have to be cut out of the carcass. Mark has been working with producers and packers all across the United States, Canada and Mexico. He helps them focus on ways to decrease transport losses, which will also improve animal welfare and increase the number of what we call full-value pigs, pigs with no sort or trim loss.”

Next, Dallas Hockman, vice president of industry relations with the National Pork Producers Council, will discuss the unintended consequences of the sow housing stipulations that food companies and chains have mandated to pork suppliers, Ricker said. “Dallas Hockman has tried to have a working relationship with these companies as they come to decisions as to whether they should demand specific housing requirement from their suppliers,” he said.
The next presenter is Dennis DiPietre, economist with Knowledge Ventures LLC. He consults full-time nationally and internationally with leading production companies, packers, genetics and pharmaceutical companies, as well as industry associations. “He is good at looking at and helping folks with innovation, precision production and marketing, cost containment, optimizing, modeling and negotiation,” Ricker said.

Breakout sessions in the afternoon will cover a variety of topics. Terry Mescher, Ohio Department of Natural Resources conservation engineer, will talk on future manure application consideration and new technology.

“In Ohio we have issues with Grand Lake St. Marys and Lake Erie,” Ricker said. “A good percentage of our pig farms are in those watersheds, or on water that drains into those watersheds.”
Bill Knapke, Cooper Farm’s environmental manager, and Dave Neef, Hord Livestock, will address brokering manure to grain farmers. “Getting Real Money from Livestock Manure” will be the topic of Glen Arnold, manure nutrient specialist with OSU extension.
In another session DiPietre will be discussing economics; Matt Ridder, also with Elanco, and Klassen will continue the discussion on the hidden costs of attrition.

Annual awards to pork industry leaders and outstanding pork producers will be presented at the Awards Luncheon during the symposium. For additional information about the Ohio Pork Congress, contact the Ohio Pork Producers Council at 800-320-7991 or visit www.ohiopork.org

Early registrations are due Jan. 20.
1/16/2013