From the publisher’s desk,

As I am typing this I, like the rest of us in the hog industry, am waiting for the phone to ring or email to ding with updated news of this crazy PED. Last week (from when I am writing this) when in Banff the news broke that the Canadian hog industry has been dreading. Although so many of us presumed it was a matter of time till PED jumped the 49th parallel it still was shocking news. Of course at this point we can’t change it but what we can try and do better then our neighbours to the South to contain it. Even our US counterparts openly stated that Canadians will be better prepared. Of course allot of that is because we have watched for nine months and learned, but Canadian producers seem a bit more diligent in trying to keep this nasty virus at bay.
The various Provincial pork board have all come up with a way of keeping their producers informed. Alberta Pork has done a great job with town hall phone meetings and starting next month in person meetings throughout the Province. I know Manitoba and SASK Pork are also keeping a very close eye.
As Dr. Doug MacDougald from Ontario explained in the Boar Pit session at the closing of Banff Pork Seminar, we need to be proactive and try and nip it in the bud.
While this news seemed to take over the later half of Thursday afternoon at Banff Pork Seminar there where many great sessions prior. Five hundred and sixty one registrants enjoyed the speakers and of course the opportunity to network – be it in the hallways or at St James Pub. I truly enjoyed my second BPS and look forward to attending next year. I have the best possible scenario with Brenda and Harry on site to cover the stories I get to take it all in without having to scramble and write afterwards. Kudos to Marliss on her first year taking over the reins from the Ball family. A few minor glitches but all worked out well.
2014 started looking like was going to be a very positive year in our industry and I honestly think it still will be, PED will cause more chaos but prices remain strong while feed and dollar are lower.
Thanks to all who stopped by my booth in Brandon at Hog Days. It was nice to see so many producers come out for the one day show. Congratulations to the carcass competition winners, there was very minimal differences from first to fifth. Thirty four carcass were entered from 17 Colonies. All the meat was donated to local food banks. Helen Waldner organized a Make & Bake contest too, top prizes where handed out in six various categories.
Looking ahead I will be in Swift Current for Cramer Expo February 20th and of course Alberta Pork Congress June 11 & 12th.
Speaking of Alberta Pork Congress I am once again pleased to be on the board of directors. There were a few directors that were unable to complete their terms so I have taken a one year spot. We have some new enthusiastic faces on the BOD, they are offering some new ideas and suggestions. Alberta Pork Congress will be celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year.
I am also once again honoured to be the chair for the 3rd Annual Bruce Winkler Memoirial Silent Auction. All the funds raised will be donated to the Linac MR Machine, which as you have heard me state before is amazing new technology combining a MRI and Radiation. I will be searching out donations from both companies and Colonies to help keep Bruce’s dream a reality. Watch your inbox or mail box for more information in the near future.
As tradition continues I will find a story about pigs almost anywhere. When visiting my folks in early January I stumbled acrosss what I thought was a neat story, check out page 40.
As always I am only a phone call or email away. Prairie Hog Country, Box 5536, Leduc, Alberta T9E 2A1, 780.986.0962, fax 780.980.9640 or email:
Talk to you in April.