U.S. Pork Center of Excellence Housed on Iowa State Campus

October 5th, 2005

The Iowa State University campus is the home for the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence, a new focal point for national pork industry research and producer education.

David Meisinger assumed his duties July 1 as director of the center, which is housed at the National Swine Research and Information Center (NSRIC) at Iowa State. The new center was developed as a collaboration of land-grant universities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and national pork industry groups.

A 15-member board of directors met for the first time Sept. 1. At that meeting, the board adopted a mission statement — to add value to the pork industry by facilitating research and learning for U.S. pork producers through national collaboration.

Meisinger said developing the concept for the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence has taken several years. "The purpose is to provide a means for increased efficiencies, to reduce duplication, to redirect funds to higher priority needs and to attract new funding for more effective problem-solving and communication of these solutions to target audiences," he said.

Meisinger said the center will focus on three areas — research, teaching and extension. "The teaching component will involve regional swine schools that will provide intensive swine production education," he said. "The research component will be a virtual center for the nationwide coordination of swine research."

One extension component will be the Pork Information Gateway (PIG), an Internet-based effort to provide pork producers with immediate access to science-based information they can implement for sustained profitability. Another component will involve coordination and collaboration of national extension activities related to pork production and marketing.

Meisinger earned a doctorate in animal science from Iowa State in 1978. He worked as an ISU area extension livestock specialist before spending the next 25 years in a variety of pork industry positions. He's been with the National Pork Board the past 10 years, first in the area of pork quality and then in producer and industry educational programming.

Meisinger reports to the dean of the ISU College of Agriculture and will receive direction from a board made up of representatives from the entities providing financial support.

The new center is initially supported by grants from the USDA Agricultural Research Service, USDA Cooperative States Research Extension and Education Service, National Pork Board and National Pork Producers Council, and through financial support from land-grant universities including Iowa State University, North Carolina State University, University of Illinois, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska, University of Missouri, The Ohio State University, Purdue University, South Dakota State University, University of Wisconsin and Texas A and M University.

The NSRIC opened in 1999 on the Iowa State campus. It is a joint development of Iowa State, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Pork Producers Council and the National Pork Board. The federal government built the center to bring together research on pork industry problems, such as odor, water quality impact, animal health and worker safety.

Iowa State also is home to the Iowa Pork Industry Center, established in 1994 as a coordinated effort of the colleges of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine. The center's mission is to promote efficient pork production technologies in Iowa, maintain Iowa's pork industry leadership and strengthen rural development efforts. It's expected the two centers will collaborate on issues of mutual interest for Iowa pork producers.


David Meisinger, U.S. Pork Center of Excellence, (515) 294-7556, drdave@iastate.edu
Susan Thompson, Communications Service, (515) 294-0705, sander@iastate.edu