Red Deer Swine Technology Workshop
Mark your calendars for the annual Red Deer Swine Technology Workshop, which will take place Wednesday November 5th at the Sheraton in Red Deer.
Registration will commence soon. The cost for the one day workshop is $80 and if you purchase four the fifth one is free. Registration includes a copy of the proceedings and lunch. For details and information contact Lisa Doyle Workshop coordinator at 403.244.7821 •

Back by popular demand! The Alberta Pork Congress Annual General Meeting will once again be held in early September in conjunction with the Annual Golf Tournament.
Breakfast will be served followed by the AGM at which time elections will take place for new members for the Board of Directors. Once the meeting has concluded this will be the first opportunity to book your booth space for the 2015 Alberta Pork Congress Tradeshow.
For those who choose to stay we’ll play a full round then be treated to a delicious pork dinner. As always there will be prizes on hand for top honours!
Come for just the AGM or the entire day. Details will be available shortly confirming the location and date.
Lisa Doyle at 403.244.7821 or email will have more information. •

Aherne Awards
Do you know of an innovator who should be recognized? Someone who has developed an original solution to answer a pork production challenge? Or found a creative use of a known technology?
The Banff Pork Seminar is proud to offer a chance for you to “strut your stuff” as a technology innovator and show the rest of us how to put it into practice!
The Dr. FX Aherne Prize for Innovative Pork Production recognizes innovators involved in the pork industry who are making a difference by applying new technologies or management techniques.
Innovators can win valuable prizes and free registration to the 2015 Banff Pork Seminar, January 20-22; you’ll be recognized by your peers and the pork industry and have a chance to present your solution at the 2015 Banff Pork Seminar.
Please nominate yourself, or apply on behalf of an innovator that deserves to be recognized. Help us to find these innovators and encourage them to apply for the Dr. FX Aherne Prize for Innovative Pork Production.
Specifically, we are looking for innovators who are capable of taking a new research concept, a technology, or even a management concept and apply it successfully in the production of pork. Innovations may be related to, but are not limited to, one of the following areas: Productivity, Profitability, Working Conditions, Animal Well Being, Reduced Environmental Impact, Pork Quality and Safety.
Anyone who has developed a solution to a pork production challenge may enter. Innovations must be relevant to North American pork production but do not necessarily have to be currently in use in Canada at the time of application.
Application and more information will be available online at Applications must be received by October 24, 2014. Apply today!
Please contact Conference Coordinator Marliss Wolfe Lafreniere at with questions. •

Industry Pork
The annual Saskatchewan Industry Pork Symposium will be held in Saskatoon at the Saskatoon Inn November 18 & 19, 2014.
More information will be available in next issue of Prairie Hog Country. •

Prairie Livestock Expo
The show has all three a new name, a new focus and a new location.
Prairie Livestock Expo formally known as Hog & Poultry Days, made the decision to expand the show to include multi species. Prairie Livestock Expo the full one day show will take place Wednesday December 10th at the newly renovated and built Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre, Winnipeg MB.
All the industries servicing the livestock sector are invited to participate.
Although the name has changed much will remain the same including the highly anticipated carcass competition. More details will be available for the next issue. •

Banff Pork Seminar
Initial planning is underway for the 2015 Banff Pork Seminar. Mark your calendars January 20-22, 2015.
More information will be in the August/September edition. •

Research into New Pig Pathogen Looking for Solutions
Brachyspira hampsonii (B. hampsonii) is a newly emerged pathogen that causes diarrhea in grow-finish pigs. This pathogen was originally identified in Alberta, and shortly after in the U.S. mid-west. It is a Western Canadian problem with new cases each year and no effective vaccine. The bacterium targets the large intestine causing inflammation and cellular damage. Unfortunately, how the bacterium causes diarrhea is unknown.
Although it can result in death in the most severe cases, most pigs recover from the diarrhea. However, the disease can cause major economic losses with increased mortality, reduced growth rates and feed efficiency, and added medications. In partnership with the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), a team of University of Saskatchewan researchers, led by Dr. John Harding, is studying B. hampsonii to discover how it causes diarrhea in affected pigs.
“In order to create an effective vaccine, we need to know how the pathogen causes disease. To do this, we have created a unique multidisciplinary team with experts in physiology, microbiology, pathology and swine medicine”. Dr. Harding explains “Although B. hyodysenteriae, the cause of swine dysentery, was discovered about 40 years ago, we know very little about the mechanism by which it causes diarrhea. We know less about B. hampsonii, a relative of B. hyodysenteriae, discovered in Western Canada in 2010. Clearly, there are large knowledge gaps to be filled.”
To study B. hampsonii, Dr. Harding’s team will develop cell lines to better understand the interactions between B. hampsonii and other pathogenic Brachyspira and the animal’s intestinal cells.
“There are several different ways that bacterial pathogens, such as Brachyspira, cause diarrhea. Some release toxins, other directly damage intestinal cells.” Dr. Harding said, “Developing appropriate cell lines to mimic what is happening in a live infected animal will enable our team to precisely identify specific changes in the intestinal cells over time that ultimately lead to the development of severe diarrhea.”
The work being done by Dr. Harding’s team is a necessary step towards creating a novel vaccine to combat B. hampsonii. A vaccine, in turn, will help to control the pathogen, thereby reducing the need for antimicrobials, preventing production losses and improving animal welfare.
Clint Dobson, ALMA’s Senior Policy and Research Manager said, “Obviously we never want to see a new pathogen emerge, especially one that can cost the producer $7 a pig. But these pathogens do appear. Dr. Harding’s research is the first step in determining the best approach to treatment, control and ultimately prevention of B. hampsonii infections.” •

Canada Ready to Impose COOL
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says he has warned U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack that Canada is ready to impose trade sanctions as soon as the World Trade Organization says the U.S. Country-of-Origin meat labeling regulations violate world trade standards.
Canada has a list of products it will tax with import duties, aiming to punish the Americans for defying the trade rules.
Ritz made his tough-talk comments to the Calgary Herald shortly after meeting with Vilsack and Mexican officials to review the status of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
The Americans lost one round on COOL at the World Trade Organization (WTO), amended their regulations in ways that Canada and Mexico said made matters even worse, so now are awaiting another decision from the WTO. •
— By Jim Romahn

Federal/Provincial Support for PED Virus Prevention
Welcome News for SASK Hog Industry
Saskatchewan’s hog industry is very pleased with the recent announcement by the Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart of $200,000 in matching industry funding to assist the pork sector with containment and eradication contingency measures in the event of a first PED virus break on Saskatchewan hog farms.
Prior to the news of the first Canadian case of PED in Ontario in January, Sask Pork, industry stakeholders and the Ministry of Agriculture began working on the development of a comprehensive response and containment strategy to deal with the potential arrival of PED on Saskatchewan farms. Since evidence suggested the mode of transmission for the disease is likely through transportation, enhanced biosecurity protocols on farms and throughout the pork value chain were identified as critically important in stopping the spread of the virus.
A Contingency Planning group was struck with members of the veterinary community and stakeholders to develop a prevention and eradication plan for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus.
The contingency funding received today is important in order to be able to immediately respond to a PEDv break should we be unfortunate enough for one to occur.
Florian Possberg, Sask Pork Chairman says “It’s critical we move quickly to contain and prevent the movement of PEDv should we have a break. This Contingency funding enables the industry and Chief Veterinary Office to act quickly on a break and gives the assurance to producers that there will be some help to clean up an affected herd and stop the spread of the disease to other swine herds in the province.”
More work still needs to be done, and Sask Pork, the Ministry of Agriculture and Chief
Veterinary Officer, Dr. Betty Althouse, will continue efforts to fight this disease that poses enormous risk to the health of the province’s swine herds. •

France Cites PED to Ban Pig Imports
France has backed off a ban on imports of pigs, semen and embryos from Canada because of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus.
It says it will wait for the European Union to decide how to deal with the issue.
Recently France also announced a ban on imports from the United States, Mexico and Japan.
The ban did not extend to pork and foods containing pork. •

Disease Continues to be the Focus of
Global Pork Markets
Pork shortages will be a key concern in many countries in the coming months. According to the Rabobank Food & Agribusiness (FAR) Research and Advisory group Pork Quarterly Q2 report, the ongoing spread of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) in the Americas and Asia will have a material impact on pork supply both this summer and in the years to come. Exacerbating tight global supply is Russia’s ban on EU pork imports after recent African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks. However, oversupply in China is expected to continue, driven by high sow liquidation.
“PEDv has been the driving force pushing up pork prices, especially in the U.S., to record highs,” said Rabobank analyst Albert Vernooij. “U.S. futures climbed 30% in Q1 and are up 45% over last year, impacting pork users and consumer’s ability to source enough pork for their needs.”
Rabobank believes the outbreak of PEDv in the U.S., Mexico, Japan and South Korea will lead to a likely decline in global pork production in 2014 (against an earlier expected 1.3% increase). In the U.S., where the PEDv outbreak has been most severe, Rabobank estimates that pork production could decline to mid-single digits (6-7%) in 2014 due to hog losses from the virus.
Producers have not been required to report PEDv cases to the Department of Agriculture, making the impact on production unclear. The impact of PEDv in Asia, especially in Japan and South Korea, is sizable, but difficult to estimate as the spread of the disease is not known.
In Russia, prices have spiked since its ban on EU pork imports, following the discovery of ASF in wild boars in Poland and Lithuania. The ban means a loss of 1.3 million tonnes of pork imports, about one third of Russia’s total import volume in 2013. This has resulted in short supply and higher prices in Russia, but with North America expected to feel the impact of PEDv for the remainder of 2014, Russia will have few alternatives to fill the void left by the EU.
However, stress on global pork supplies is currently being eased by the supply glut in China, the world’s largest producer and consumer of pork. Rabobank believes that Chinese pork prices will continue to fall in Q2 and into Q3 2014, more than a year after the price decline began. Sow liquidation, which commenced in April, will drive prices lower this summer as supply and demand rebalance. Looking to the back half of the year, the continued sow liquidation should help Chinese pork prices recover by the end of Q3 2014 in line with the seasonal increase of China’s pork consumption.
“In China, pork consumption is expected to remain steady in 2014, as hog supply will continue to be at a relatively sufficient level,” noted Vernooij. •

Canadian Centre of Gene Transfer Open its doors
Garth Braun General Manager proudly announced the Opening of the Canadian Centre of Gene Transfer.
The state of the art Boar Stud at an isolated location near Hamiota, Manitoba will be an exclusive Gene Transfer Centre for Genesus Genetics for domestic and international AI Production for fresh and frozen semen. Genesus is the world’s largest high health producer of purebred registered breeding stock.
This Canadian facility with a capacity of 483,000 doses per year will be using State of the art CASA system with auto morphology. The facility features a state of art water system including reverse Osmosis technology and double ultra violet protection against bacteria with a De ionizer with a backup polisher and continuous circulation for Type 1 water.
The Canadian Centre will be a positive pressure barn with HEPA filtration and Isolation with Noveko filter for protection against aerosol pathogens.
Garth Braun the General Manager for the Canadian Centre has over 16 years of reproduction and gene transfer experience with Hylife-Fast Genetics
Garth has been integral in producing over ½ million straws of frozen semen, shipped to EU, China & USA. He is a published co-author in an industry journal on frozen semen. He has helped to produce over 5 million bottles of fresh semen. •

End Coming to
Antibiotics for Growth
Twenty-five of 26 drug companies have told the United States Food and Drug Administration at the end of March that they will stop selling antibiotics as growth promotants for livestock and poultry.
Although Canadian officials have said nothing, it’s almost certain the same thing will happen here simply to preserve the U.S. market for Canadian livestock and meat.
The companies are going to either withdraw the drugs completely from the farm markets or make them available only under a veterinarian’s prescription.
The Food and Drug Administration wants to limit use of antibiotics in food animals to curb the potential for antimicrobial resistance in humans.
The antibiotics will be allowed for farm use to treat bacterial infections and diseases.
The 25 companies account for 99.95 percent of sales.
They are: ADM Alliance Nutrition, Inc., Agri Laboratories, Ltd., Bayer Healthcare LLC, Animal Health Division, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., Contemporary Products, Inc., Cross Vetpharm Group Ltd., Elanco Animal Health, A Division of Eli Lilly & Co., First Priority, Inc., G.C. Hanford Manufacturing Co., Huvepharma AD, Intervet, Inc., Med-Pharmex, Inc., Merial Ltd., Micro Beef Technologies LTD, Novartis Animal Health US, Inc., Pennfield Oil Co., Phibro Animal Health Corp., Quo Vademus, LLC, Ridley USA Inc., Sparhawk Laboratories, Inc., Strategic Veterinary Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Veterinary Services, Inc., Vetoquinol N.-A., Inc., Virbac AH, Inc. and Zoetis Inc. •
— By Jim Romahn

Farm Animal Council Expands Promotional Campaign
You’ll be seeing faces of young, caring farmers and ranchers throughout Saskatchewan over the next year… on billboards, buses and benches, in airports – and even on the back of washroom doors!
Recently the Farm Animal Council of Saskatchewan (FACS) launched its ‘Faces of Farming’ campaign, an expanded version of previous years’ efforts to let consumers know that producers are responsible and caring in the raising of their animals. Funding for this project has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture through the Agriculture Awareness Initiative, a Growing Forward 2 program.
Joe Kleinsasser, Chair of FACS, emphasizes the importance of consumer education related to farming and the production of food. “Only two percent of Canadians in this day and age have a direct link to the farm,” he emphasizes, “and thus we need to inform people that producers care that their animals are treated ethically and humanely. More and more, consumers want to know that the food they eat is produced responsibly and in a safe and healthy way.”
FACS has repeatedly reinforced ‘we care’ since first featuring billboards with photographs of young Saskatchewan producers in 1996. The annual campaign has become one of FACS’ most anticipated, high-profile and visible activities.
FACS thanks the following for supporting the 2014 multi-commodity campaign: Chicken Farmers of Saskatchewan, Sask Pork, Saskatchewan Bison Association, Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, Saskatchewan Egg Producers, Saskatchewan Horse Federation, Sask Milk, and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. •

H&M Meats Provides a Closer Processing Option for Northern
Alberta Producers
Located in the heart of Grande Prairie, H&M Meats (H&M) has provided quality meat products to consumers for the last 40 years. In that time, H&M had great success with many of their products, including beef jerky and sausages. Recently, they have seen a rise in their pork production, nearly equalling their beef production. In fact, in 2013, they saw an increase in total poundage of meat in excess of 25 per cent.
With this continued positive momentum, H&M knew they needed a better system and newer equipment to keep up with consumer demand. By partnering with the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), H&M expects to increase production through upgrading some of their equipment.
H&M sees the upgrade as an opportunity to increase efficiency while decreasing processing downtime. According to President Robert Fleck, “We’ve made some great strides with a new smokehouse, which offers humidity control, cooling and aging capabilities, as well as automated time controls. To meet the increasing demand for cured and other value-added products, we needed more modernized equipment in our facility. With increased efficiency and capacity, we have been able to create new value-added products for our consumers.”
However, that isn’t the only benefit that Fleck sees from this project, as he believes there are possible benefits for livestock producers across Northern Alberta. Currently, a large percentage of the livestock in the Peace Country is processed in Vancouver and Calgary. With this upgrade, H&M Meats hopes to keep processing as local as possible.
“Reducing travel time is especially important in food industries,” said Fleck. “It allows producers to save time and money, but most importantly, you have a better product when meat is processed as close as possible to where it is raised. It is a better situation for the producer, the processor and ultimately the consumer. Consumers have shown that they are looking for tasty local meat options, so we hope to keep our customer happy by increasing our supply of meat from the Peace Country.”
“This project is an example of how a small change can work out to a much greater good,” said ALMA president and CEO, Gordon Cove.
“Helping northern producers by providing a nearby processing location means more meat stays within the province and within the area. H&M Meats’ continued growth helps increase capacity of local meat products for Alberta consumers, but most importantly, their success helps build and sustain the agriculture industry and local communities in Northern Alberta.” •

Six U.S. Senators Push for PED Vaccine
Six senators signed a letter at the end of April, asking for increased funding to develop a vaccine for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus.
They say the virus has already claimed about six million piglets in the United States since it first showed up a year ago.
“If PEDv continues to spread at its current rate, many producers could struggle to remain in business,” the senators wrote.
They also drew attention to other new diseases, such as swine delta corona virus, that are hitting hog farms.
The letter is signed by six Democratic Party senators Kay Hagan from North Carolina, Sherrod Brown from Ohio, Al Franken from Minnesota, Debbie Stabenow from Michigan, Joe Donnelly from Indiana and Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota. The Democrats hold a majority in the Senate. •
— By Jim Romahn

Genesus Producers Achieve Top Numbers
The following is a list of Genesus customers that have exceeded 25 pigs weaned per mated female in the calendar year 2013.
Gadsby North Barn 32.53; Rosedale Farming Co Ltd 31.27; Camrose -US 31.26; Eagle Creek 31.16; Gadsby South Barn 30.20; Woodland 30.16; Hartland 29.67; Silver Creek 29.63; Fairlane Farming Co. 29.47; Sunset 29.32; Suncrest 29.22; Twin Hills 29.20; Newport N. 29.13; Miami 29.11; Lismore 29.02; Sundale 29.02; Valley Centre Farming Co Ltd 28.91; Countryview Farm 28.90; Big Stone 28.70; OK 28.62; Huron 28.59; Riverview 28.51; Fairholme Farms Ltd 28.50; Milltown 28.46; Bluegrass Farming Co. Ltd. 28.45; Grass River 28.43; Maxwell 28.42; Cview Farming Co Ltd 28.30; Glendale 28.30; Neudorf 28.11; Elm Spring Farming Co 27.84; Valley View 27.62; Brantwood 27.60; Midway 27.60; Newport South 27.56; Pro Vista Blueline 27.27; Norquay 27.22; Shady Lane 26.86; Future Pork 26.84; Good Hope 26.80; Mountainview 26.72; Milford 26.62; Norquay 27.22; Shady Lane 26.86; Future Pork 26.84; Good Hope 26.80; Mountainview 26.72; Milford 26.62; Elk Creek 26.61; Lakeview 26.56; Lukes Brothers 26.56; Big Bend 26.49; Oaklane Farming Company 26.46; Independence 26.44; Seville Swine 26.42; Spring Ridge 26.40; Elite Pork 26.28; Camrose 26.19; Little Bow 26.19; Hidden Lake 26.18; Precision 26.17; ACP I 26.10; Birch Creek 26.09; White Rock 26.05; Greenhaven Pork 26.00; Sunnysite 25.95; Oakridge 25.93; Hillside Swine 25.82; ACP II 25.80; Brentwood – South Barn 25.80; Cascade 25.68; Poplar Point 25.60; Rainbow Farming Co Ltd 25.55; Advantage 25.54; Hansen Hog West 25.10; Brentwood 25.00 and L & L Enterprise 25.00.
Genesus Genetics would like to congratulate each of these farms. Many hours of hard work and dedication are required to achieve these stellar results. •

Canadian Journalist Secures IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural
Journalism Award
A total of ten participants were selected for this year’s IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism award, with one of the recipients hailing from Alberta, Canada.
Debra Murphy, field editor with, was recently selected as a regional finalist for the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism Award. The award, bestowed upon ten journalists around the world, supports the winners’ participation in the IFAJ Congress and in an intensive journalistic boot camp-style workshop, which takes place this year September 2-3, prior to the IFAJ Congress in Scotland. The candidates were nominated by their peers via their respective agricultural journalists guilds.
“Earning the chance to travel to the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists 2014 Congress in Scotland is a valuable asset to my future role in agricultural journalism,” Murphy said. “The boot camp, live reporting and constructive criticism of experts in the field will enhance my skills in writing, while the tours will provide me with further knowledge of international agriculture.”
Murphy, who holds a bachelor of science in agriculture from the University of Alberta, co-managed her family farm in Alberta and served as a youth leader for Canada World Youth in Nova Scotia and Indonesia, before joining RealAgriculture in 2013. •

FCC Drive Away Hunger Launches 11th year
Announced recently in Steinbach, MB Farm Credit Canada (FCC) and its partners throughout the country will strive to collect three million pounds of food for Canada’s food banks this year to mark the 11th anniversary of FCC Drive Away Hunger.
“To date, we’ve collected more than 17 million pounds of food through FCC Drive Away Hunger,” said Greg Stewart, FCC President and CEO. “Hunger is an issue that affects many families in rural Canada. FCC Drive Away Hunger is one of the ways we give back to the rural communities where our customers and employees live and work,” noting that hunger touches nearly 850,000 Canadians each month, many of whom are children.
FCC Drive Away Hunger is the largest employee-led food drive in Canada. It involves driving a tractor and trailer through various communities to collect food and cash donations for food banks across the country. One hundred per cent of donations go to Canadian food banks, and anyone can visit to make a cash donation.
This year, FCC Drive Away Hunger tours will take place the week of October 13 in Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan. FCC is also collecting food and cash donations in field offices across Canada from May 5 to October 17.
“This program reflects the continued generosity and sense of community found throughout Canadian farm families,” said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “I commend FCC and its customers for their ongoing efforts in this initiative year after year.”
The FCC Drive Away Hunger launch coincides with Hunger Awareness Week from May 5 to 9, 2014, which is aimed to raise awareness about the issue of hunger in Canada. FCC launched its annual campaign by donating $100,000 to Food Banks Canada.
FCC’s enthusiastic partners are also a major reason for the program’s success year after year. •

Elanco Plans BBQ
Elanco Technical meetings and BBQ Cook-off is being planned in two locations.
The first being held Friday June 13th/2014, at Starbuck Hall in Starbuck, MB for details contact Scott Atkins 204.981.1624. Secondly Monday June 16th/2014 at Eagle’s hall in Swift Current, SK for details contact Abel Lopez 204.280.0240 •