U.S. Pork Center of Excellence Launches Swine Science Online

August 26th, 2010

AMES, Iowa — After months of testing, the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence is launching classes at six universities through Swine Science Online. Starting in August, the courses will be offered at Colorado State University, Iowa State University, North Carolina State University, South Dakota State University, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and the University of Missouri.

"The Swine Science Online curriculum is an exciting new way for students to really streamline their college degree," said Jodi Sterle, associate professor and Extension swine specialist at Texas A and M University. "This knowledge and experience is exactly what the industry is looking for in its new employees."

That will make students more marketable and appealing to employers upon graduation, said Tim Safranski, associate professor at the University of Missouri.

"Being able to take these courses from such prominent specialists can really set them apart from other graduates as they pursue careers with pigs," Safranski said. "We're really excited to have this opportunity to provide our students in-depth training in this comprehensive coverage of swine production."

The Swine Science Online program offers a unique mix of classes and real world exposure to students, said Tom Baas, professor of animal science at Iowa State University.

"The wide range of classes that are offered provide endless opportunities to gain experience and awareness in numerous areas that will be beneficial to all participants," Baas said. "The Swine Science Online program is an excellent way for students to obtain knowledge and training that will enhance their understanding of all aspects of the pork industry."

It also keeps the busy person's schedule in mind in the process, said Dana Hanson, associate professor at North Carolina State University.

"The online curriculum gives students from across the nation an opportunity to study swine science at their convenience," Hanson said. "Students can custom design their course of study in swine science, oftentimes filling gaps with classes not offered at the university they attend."

When all is said and done, students who have taken Swine Science Online will be better prepared, said Maggie DenBeste, program coordinator at the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence.

"The ultimate goal of the Swine Science Online Program is to have more academically trained students entering the pork industry," DenBeste said. "After completing required and elective courses students will be able to apply for a Swine Science Online certificate administered by the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence."

Seven courses are being offered this fall through Swine Science Online, covering topics such as basic swine science, swine health and biosecurity, breeding, gestation and farrowing management, swine business and records analysis, swine environment management and contemporary issues in the swine industry. Swine Science Online utilizes instructors from universities across the country offering academic programs in swine production and management.

To learn more, visit here.


Kelly Mescher, U.S. Pork Center of Excellence, (515) 294-2490, kmescher@iastate.edu

Maggie DenBeste, U.S. Pork Center of Excellence, (515) 294-5231, mdenbest@iastate.edu