The World Pork Expo was held in Iowa earlier this month, and Janet Archer, Archer Farms in Wayne County, NC attended. She explains some of the seminars she attended:
“I learned a lot of information over the course of three days. There is a new disease to the US called an epidemic diarrhea virus, there was an information session on that. Its something that has been faced by other countries but we haven’t seen in the US. I also attended a very session on sow housing that talked about how to convert buildings from stall to pen gestation, what the consequences are and the financial implications are. I attended a session on having a farm level crisis plan in the event you have a problem. Those were some of the important nuggets of information I gained.”
After several large food service entities announced last year they would only serve pork raised in a gestation crate-free environment, Archer explains what they’ve chosen to focus on at Archer Farms:
“We have worked very hard to make sure that we are taking care of our animals in a responsible way. What science has found over and over is its not the type of housing that is used to care for animals, it’s the people and the caregivers that are taking care of them. We make sure we have the best caregivers available.”
What many asking for gestation crate free housing don’t realize is that animals are co-mingled once they leave the farm. Archer explains:
“That ability to segregate is going to be a problem. Its not to say it cant be done, but it’s at a cost and are those outlets willing to bear that cost?”
Archer outlines some of the best reasons to attend the World Pork Expo:
“I’ve been a pig farmer for over 35 years and one of the best reasons to go to the Expo is the people you meet. It’s a great opportunity to get refreshed and talk to people who are doing the same thing that you are doing.”
To learn more about the World Pork Expo visit www.Pork.org.
Jan Archer of Wayne County’s Archer Farms.