Alcorn holds annual Pork Producers Field Day: “Advancing Sustainable Pork Production”

Over 100 participants attended the 2014 Pork Producers Field Day hosted by the Alcorn State University Extension Program’s (ASUEP) Swine Development Center held at the Swine Research and Development Farm in Church Hill, Mississippi.

Opening with acknowledgements from Rondall Hawkins, animal science specialist, and reflections from Patrick Morgan, research associate, the event featured demonstrations of important techniques such as processing baby pigs, castration, ear notching for identification, cutting the “needle teeth” and tails to prevent the formation of tusks, and pig weighing, followed by a tour of the pasture pork site. Trained professionals were on hand to address the farmers’ inquiries throughout the event.

Dr. Dalton H. McAfee, Extension administrator acknowledged the important anniversaries which the extension system is currently celebrating. “The purpose of the Extension Program is to address issues across the state, nation and the world using the knowledge acquired by the land-grant universities. It is an institution designed to serve and carry knowledge to local people.”

In addition, guest speaker Frank Taylor, president of the Winston County Self-Help Cooperative, delivered information on the economics of producing swine and gave advice to the farmers to keep tabs on trends and follow the information provided in the media as world economics and politics play a significant factor in the agricultural economy of rural America. He stressed the importance of the research-based information extended by Alcorn Extension Program. “It is essential for the farmers to learn about governmental grants and assistance offered through programs such as the Farm Service Agency,” he shared. It is vital to learn the tactics to ensure the profitability of the land for future generations.”

Community members and Swine Development staff alike enjoyed the outcome of the event. Libby St. Amant, farm manager stated, “We enjoy helping hog farmers to learn more about pasture pork production.”

Emma Jones, an attendee said, “We acquired lots of useful information at the Field Day. I especially found interesting the fact that pasture pork is healthier than pork that comes from swine that consumed regular fed.”

To conclude the session, a complementary pork lunch was served. Throughout the event, representatives from the Extension training office were on-hand to educate the participants about topics related to swine record keeping, and loan availability for pork producers.

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