The Swine Development Center is an entity of the Alcorn State University School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. The mission of the Center is to develop sustainable swine production systems for small producers, thereby: improving the quality, safety, and composition of pork products; generating information to enhance the economic wellbeing of rural communities; conducting research that addresses swine production problems; and providing hands-on undergraduate and graduate training.
The Center’s farm is located in Church Hill, Mississippi, approximately 20 miles southwest of the University’s Lorman campus. The facility has 60 sow-farrowing barns, three of which have the capacity to house 100 finishing hogs. The farm is surrounded by a 50-acre outdoor pasture for the production of pasture-raised hogs. An artificial insemination (A.I.) unit with the capacity to accommodate six boars is also located at the farm.
The facility includes a state-of-the-art semen evaluation and processing laboratory. Student A.I. interns undergo training at the laboratory to become certified A.I. technicians. Producers are also encouraged to learn and adopt A.I. technology to improve the genetic quality of their stock.
Current research efforts are centered on the development of pasture-based production systems for limited-resource farmers, as well the use of under-utilized vegetables (such as purslane and waterleaf) to improve the quality of pork.