Do You Want to Get into the Hog Business?

Pork industry opportunities for new farmers, is subject of spring conference.

A seminar designed to educate new or aspiring hog farmers about the pork industry will be held this spring in Ames. "Exploring Opportunities: A conference for aspiring pork producers" will be held April 1 at Quality Inn and Suites on East 13th street in Ames. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the conference will run from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This first-time conference is being sponsored by the Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa State University's Iowa Pork Industry Center and ISU's Beginning Farmer Center and Farm Credit Services of America. "We're excited to present this conference and give farmers who are considering raising hogs insight into the industry, what they need to know and how they can get started," says Colin Johnson, ISU Extension specialist at the Iowa Pork Industry Center.

This is a first-time conference

Participants will be able to hear from several key presenters about a variety of important topics relative to starting a hog business. ISU economist John Lawrence will provide an overview of the pork industry and talk about opportunities and sustainability.

Gary Thome from Riverland Community College will discuss contract finishing and Dave Stender from ISU and Gary Huber of Practical Farmers of Iowa will present information on raising hogs for niche markets in a couple of morning breakout sessions.

Afternoon breakout sessions include a discussion led by a panel of experts on how aspiring producers can obtain capital. Regulations and neighbor relations are the subject of another session and a group of veteran hog farmers will share thoughts on how young farmers can map their future and transition ownership.

"This conference will be ideal for those considering constructing a finishing building but don't know the process and available financing options" Johnson says. "Veteran farmers looking for the next generation of managers and owners also will benefit from the seminar, as will employees and college students who want to know how to become owners."

The conference is free to those who register by March 28 by calling IPIC at 800- 808-7675. There's a $20 charge if you don't register until the day of the event.

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