Trichinosis still hurting pig farmers

KANSAS - My first trip of 2007 was to Kansas City for a National Pork Board Conference. They held a tremendous meeting with swine Extension educators from across the entire country to discuss various methods for delivering timely information to pork producers in an efficient and effective manner.
calendar icon 15 January 2007
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Other topics covered were the effects of the growing demand for corn for ethanol production, diseases affecting today's pork operations and a quick look at what policy issues could continue to hinder production. However, education overwhelmingly dominated this conversation.

I conducted several interviews including one with Dr. Patrick Webb, Director of Swine Health Service for the National Pork Board. We covered a broad range of topics but somehow the conversation turned to trichinosis. Trichinosis? Why would we talk about that in the year 2007?

After visiting with Dr. Webb, I just randomly polled a young lady, probably in her twenties, who was waiting in the meeting room of the Plaza. I began by asking her if she could talk to a pig farmer, what would she ask? She was interested in learning how they get the pig from a live animal to the products she sees in the store. She included a really strange word in her sentence--"train". She wanted to know how they "train" the pigs to sit still so they could be cut up. Unfortunately, I don't believe this young lady would be much different than any random consumer you might find on the street.

I asked her if she ate pork? "Oh, no! I never eat pork. It is dirty and full of worms." I found the "full of worms" part to be very interesting considering that the majority of the people in this country still overcook pork. I couldn't believe a person of that generation from urban America would correlate worms with pork. Either way, it gave me a great window of opportunity to educate this young lady about the actual safety of the most-consumed meat product in the world, pork.

Source: High Plains Journal

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