Canadian hog farmer shares insights from World Pork Expo
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
A father son adventure led Stuart Skinner a pig producer from Listowel, Ontario to the World Pork Expo held in Des Moines, IA last week.
Hailed as the mecca for hog producers, Skinner said that he always wanted to go, but this time it was ‘good timing’ and worked with his production schedule. Skinner said that the most interesting aspect of the expo was the demographic in attendance. “There were lots of international visitors, a strong Chinese contingent and young families,” explains Skinner, noting that seeing young farm families at the expo was encouraging.
The expo showcased the latest innovations and technology in the swine industry. “I wished someone could write me a blank cheque so that I could afford to buy all cool things that I saw,” Stewart said with a chuckle. The innovations ranged from everything relating to cost effective tools to animal welfare handling innovations. Skinner said that new feeders to enhance feed efficiently and was one of the less glamorous but most useful innovations that he saw, noting that feed cost is a major driver of production costs in the pig business.
Farmer to farmer bonding was a highlight for Skinner, noting that on-farm biosecurity measures make it harder for producers to sit down and talk about industry issues. Key themes discussed were crops, especially corn and the Smithfield sale.
Skinner’s run a 350 sow farrow to finish operation in Perth County. Stuart can be found on Twitter at @modernfarmer.