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Kansas State boasts new swine research facility

Kansas State University has opened a new swine education facility that will give students access to industry-standard equipment.

21 June 2021, at 9:21am

The university’s Department of Animal Sciences and Industry opened its newly built swine farrowing unit to the public on 27 May. The facility is located at the K-State Swine Teaching and Research Center north of the main campus in Manhattan, and replaces an aging facility that was built in 1968.

“In our old facility, we have equipment that is generally similar to what is used in industry, but the reality is that farrowing crate styles have changed, flooring has changed, ventilation systems have changed…” said Joel DeRouchey, a swine nutritionist with K-State Research and Extension.

“What we’ve been able to do here is improve those things so that they are very similar to what students will see when they go into the industry.”

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K-State’s facility was funded primarily through private investments, DeRouchey said. That includes a start-up donation by Roy and Linda Henry of Longford, Kansas, but was boosted by support from the Kansas Soybean Commission, Kansas Pork Association, the Livestock and Meat Industry Council, the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, alumni and faculty.

“It is really rewarding to see many of our former students donate money back into the swine program,” DeRouchey said.

“Producers always want information generated in a facility that is close to what they have in their own operations,” DeRouchey said. “What we have with this facility…matches almost identical to what producers are building or have built in the last 10 years. So they can trust the information on nutrition, reproduction, animal care, management or any of the areas that we’re producing because it’s going to mimic the conditions they have in their own facility. That’s certainly a big plus.”

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