Production and financial standards training classes are enthusiastically received by participating pork producers

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 production and financial standards training. Dr. Jerry Torrison (Swine Vet Center; St. Peter, Minnesota) helped organize the group of producers who are attending classes at the Technical College in Mankato, Minnesota. The first class, Production Information, was held on January 22-23, 2000 with Dr. Will Marsh as instructor.

Pork producer Wayne Torgerson (Pork Royal Farms; Jackson, Minnesota) attended the session and was favorably impressed. He especially liked the feed budgeting discussion, and feels the training classes will help him determine what changes should be made in his operation that will have the biggest impact on his bottom line.

Pork producers Paul and Myrna Herbers (ELP and Company; Ayrshire, Iowa) also attended the Mankato Production Information class. Paul Herbers said he was dubious at first and wondered whether the class would be a waste of time. Instead, he was impressed with the materials and program, and says the classes will integrate financial and production information together, allowing him to make a thorough analysis of where his operation is financially, and how he stacks up against others. He likes the standardization objective behind the classes and says it's imperative to come up with a common way to calculate numbers if producers want to compare their operations to others, citing as an example two commonly used recordkeeping systems that can differ by as many as two pigs per sow per year.

Picture taken by Dr. Bill Hollis, Carthage Veterinary Service

Class attendees Mitzi Goheen and Mike Losleben are financial accountants for Christensen Family Farms (Sleepy Eye, Minnesota), and said they already had been implementing for several years much of what was covered in this first class. They agree that the push to standardize is necessary for comparison purposes, and hope the NPPC's Production and Financial Database will include enough large producers so they'll be able to benchmark to operations of similar size. Losleben said he views his participation in the classes as a good opportunity to be exposed to new ideas. The next class for the Mankato location is Commodity Managerial Accounting and takes place in March.

Dr. Bill Hollis (Carthage Veterinary Service; Carthage, Illinois) helped coordinate pork producer participation in a series of training classes that are being held at Western Illinois University; Macomb, Illinois. The first class was held March 9-10, 2000 with Dr. Will Marsh instructing. AASP members who are interested in participating as facilitators or who would like more information should contact Jenny Felt at the NPPC office in Des Moines at 5152232600.

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