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MU Extension Receives Swine Biosecurity Grant

University of Missouri Extension agricultural engineering specialist Teng Lim has been awarded a $179,933 grant to study new wean-to-harvest biosecurity projects to improve entry to swine operations.

The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) awarded the grant with funds from the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research and the Pork Checkoff. MU Extension was one of five groups to receive funds in a $514,856 round of awards aimed at addressing biosecurity gaps in U.S. swine herds. This is the second round of awards made by the program. About $1 million was awarded in the first round.

The research projects center on the efficacy of new tools to reduce the risk of disease spread, said SHIC associate director Megan Niederwerder.

Lim said the awards help researchers prevent the spread of emerging swine diseases by identifying vulnerabilities faced by pork producers. The interdisciplinary faculty team, which includes Wole Odemuyiwa, Cory Bromfield and Tamara Gull, has been brainstorming practical methods to safeguard swine health in the U.S.

The MU researchers will study ways to improve entry systems into swine facilities. “Shower-in, shower-out” is a common practice for workers, but it is a challenge to get all personnel to comply with this, says Lim.

MU Extension researchers will look at easy-to-use entry systems that improve biosecurity on commercial pig farms. The project will design and test a variety of entry systems that consist of air showers, disinfectant spraying/fogging units and designated clean and dirty areas split by a “line of separation.” The team will test the pathogen-removal effectiveness of each entry system.

Other awardees:

• James Lowe, Lowe Consulting, $28,875. Lowe’s team will research ways to reduce disease risk on trailers used to haul hogs.

• Francisco Cabezon, research vice president, Pipestone, $61,100. Cabezon will study how to improve barn washing methods at swine facilities.

• John J. McGlone, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University, $119,018. Texas Tech University will look at ways to automate and self-administer needle-free vaccination systems for common pathogens.

• Jean-Pierre Vaillancourt, faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Montreal, $125,930. University of Montreal researchers will look at radio-frequency identification devices to monitor compliance with biosecurity practices.

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