WPE Report: Sow Retirement Programme Launched

US - American swine producers have introduced a new programme designed to allow an equitable exit by sow owners from the farrowing business, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 5 June 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

The Pork Producer Retirement Program was unveiled during World Pork Expo underway in Des Moines.

Sow owners in the US are eligible.

Producer Retirement Plan chairman, Chuck Wirtz, describes the initiative as an early retirement program to allow producers who exit the industry to re-capture the unused genetic productive value of their sow herds.

Chuck Wirtz-Producer Retirement Plan

It's a self-funded program.

In order to be a member you have to pledge 20 dollars per sow either cash up front or five dollars up front with the balance secured with a line of credit to be paid over the next two years.

Based on that initial up-front funding and/or those lines of credit we secured financing for those dollars to be used in the bid process relative for sow owners willing to retire their sows on a bid process.

They will submit bids and we'll do low bid up to high bid until either (A) we run out of bids or (B) we run out of money.

Our targets, and that's always dangerous when you're doing something that's never been done before so you don't exactly know how long, but the targets we've discussed are we're going to take subscriptions for enrollment and bids simultaneously from 15 June through 17 July.

We've hired a third-party administrator then to review those bids and to review the subscriptions and we'll make a determination by 31 July.

Again this is tentative.

That's our plan is by 31 July to be able to announce the bids that will be rewarded and then we'll begin the audit process of those farms and then the liquidation of those sows.


Wirtz says this type of program has not been tried before in the US so it remains to be seen how it will be accepted.

He notes additional information is available (click here).

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