Role of Swine Research Evolves

31 August 2012, at 8:05am

CANADA - The president and CEO of the Saskatoon-based Prairie Swine Centre says the role of research has expanded to include the entire pork value chain.

Affiliated with the University of Saskatchewan, the Prairie Swine Centre trains graduate students, produces materials for the pork industry and conducts research, primarily in nutrition, behavior, engineering and management.

Next Saturday the centre will celebrate 20 years of research with a hog roast at the Saskatoon Farmers Market. President and CEO Lee Whittington says the role of research has evolved over the past 20 years.

Lee Whittington-Prairie Swine Centre:

What has changed over the years is that the whole pork value chain now is so reliant from one component to another and so now when we think about pork research we talk much more about the whole pork value chain.

A lot of what we do here at the Prairie Swine Centre in support of the pork value chain is looking at, if a processor wants to change the Omega-3 components or they want to look at stall free housing for some of their pork customers then this organization is responsible for looking at things like cost of production, how does the producer differentiate his product and a lot of the of course has to start in the barn.

The feed type that's chosen, the management that goes on inside the barn and of course transportation and trucking to make sure that the end product actually looks like what was originally intended.

I think what's changed the most at the Prairie Swine Centre is the recognition that the whole pork value chain is dependant on us getting it right in all parts of the chain so we're much more involved in the pork processing.

We're much more involved in transportation and in feed processing than we would have been 20 years ago.

For more on the Prairie Swine Centre's 20th anniversary celebrations visit

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.