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Swine Schools awarded UDSA grant

by 5m Editor
18 July 2007, at 12:16pm

IOWA - A $460,000 grant to develop Swine Schools has been awarded to the US Pork Centre of Excellence (USPCE). The award, from the USDA/Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, covers a three year period starting on 1 October and will help develop the Swine Schools project.

The project involves developing courses in several different areas of study in pork production, pilot testing and evaluating the results.

"We have been working hard to find a way to provide for more graduates academically trained in swine science," said Mike Wehler, a USPCE Board Member and pork producer from Wisconsin. "We think this is a very good start to find people with capabilities to be managers or allied industry representatives, or to even attend graduate school in the swine sciences."

College students involved in the Swine Schools project will have the opportunity to take an intensive swine science course followed by a summer internship at a production facility. The internship will allow participants to gain experiential learning with credits to be transferred back to their respective institution.

Components of Swine Schools will include distance learning, laboratory instruction, problem solving and critical thinking. The newest technologies in teaching and student-centered instruction also will be used.

The steering committee for the Swine School project will be announced in October and will work to set the policy for the project this fall.

"This funding will provide the impetus to develop a much needed program to counter the disappearance of swine science courses in our university system," said USPCE Executive Director David Meisinger. "The next step will be to utilize the base knowledge to develop a shorter course for those already working in the pork industry."

5m Editor