Veterinarians asked to facilitate pork producer training meetings

The NPPC is asking swine practitioners to participate in development of its National Swine Production and Financial Database by acting as facilitators for pilot classes for pork producers to receive training in production and financial standards. Cooperating veterinarians have been requested to contact 15-25 progressive clients to attend a series of five to six training classes. Veterinarians are expected to provide a meeting site and meals for the attendees and instructor, and to attend all the classes. The meeting site must be Internet accessible. The NPPC will provide the instructors and free use of laptop computers and all the training materials, including the Technical Reference Manual, the Return on Investment Model with updates, the Chart of Accounts CD-ROM, and the Pork Information Transfer System. The NPPC will also provide transfer of producers' past and present data to the database and free use of the database for 1 year.

The tentative agenda and schedule for the training classes are as follows:

  • Class 1
    • Commodity Managerial Accounting
    • January (2-day class)
  • Class 2
    • Production Information
    • February (2-day class)
  • Class 3
    • National Pork Database/Benchmarking
    • April (1-day class)
  • Class 4
    • Using Standards August (1-day class)
  • Class 5
    • Activity Managerial Accounting Nov/Dec (2-day class)
  • Class 6
    • Using Standards January (2-day class)

Dr. Jerry Torrison of the Swine Vet Center in St. Peter, Minnesota values his participation as a facilitator for the classes because he is bringing resources to his clientele that will help them gain a better working knowledge of financial recording, have more sophisticated financial records, and gain access to a financial database for benchmarking. He's especially enthusiastic about the development of the National Swine Production and Financial Database because it's the first financial database economically available to independent producers. Dr. Torrison agrees that the time commitment for the training class is a concern, but says "it's important to recognize that this is the information age, and as databases become available, we need to check them out carefully to see how they might help producers be better producers and swine veterinarians be better consultants."

Dr. Bill Hollis of Carthage Veterinary Service in Carthage, Illinois is also participating as a facilitator for the training classes. He says "the training will help to get our producers on the same page by standardizing the way they evaluate the cost to produce product, then providing them with access to an ongoing, active, real-time database via the Internet so they can benchmark against other producers." Dr. Hollis says his clientele who are computer literate and who already use database records and the Internet have been most receptive to participation in the training classes.

The NPPC would like to see at least 15 training classes conducted during the upcoming year. Members of the AASP who are interested in participating as facilitators or would like more information should contact Jenny Felt at the NPPC office in Des Moines at 515-223-2600.

--Contributed by Dr. Teddi Wolff, AASP Public Relations Committee