Biosecurity reminders from National Pork Board

With porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) expected to become even more prevalent this winter, producers need to be extra cautious when traveling to shows and sales.

The National Pork Board has created these two handouts for swine exhibitors and swine show organizers to follow. Do your part to help contain PED, and follow their biosecurity practices.

Swine Exhibitor Handout

Swine Event Organizer Handout

Lois Britt Memorial Scholarship Dec. 9 Deadline Approaches

Four students who intend to purse a career in the pork industry will be awarded $2,500 scholarships through the Lois Britt Memorial Scholarship Program sponsored by CME and administered by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC). 

Introduced in 1990 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Live Hog Futures, the program recognizes talented and thoughtful students who will become the next generation of industry leaders. 

To be apply you must:
1. Be an undergraduate student in a two-year swine program or four-year college of agriculture;
2. Write a brief letter indicating what role you see yourself playing in the pork industry after graduation;
3. Submit an essay of 750 words or less describing an issue you see confronting the pork industry today or in the future and offer your solutions;
4. Obtain two letters of reference from current or former professors or industry professionals; Prepare a cover
sheet with your:
A - name
B - complete mailing address, telephone number, and E-mail address
C - school name
D - year in school
E – permanent mailing address and telephone number
5. Submit the above items in a single envelope to:
National Pork Producers Council 

 ATTN: Craig Boelling
PO Box 10383
Des Moines, Iowa 50306-9960

Or e-mail to: Craig Boelling at

NOTE: All entries must be postmarked by DECEMBER 9, 2013

The National Pork Producers Council  will administer the program, read the essays and select the winners. Essays will be judged on the basis of clarity or expression, persuasiveness, originality and relevance of topic. Winners will be announced at the Pork Industry Forum in Kansas City, Mo., on March 6-8, 2014. NPPC reserves the right to publish any or parts of the essays submitted.

For additional information, please contact Craig Boelling at 515-278-8012 (

Fall Classic Ear Tag Requirement Information

The following information has been provided to the National Swine Registry from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. This information is designed to assist exhibitors with questions regarding ear tag requirements for the 2013 NSR Fall Classic. Remember, all swine entering the Stephens County Fairgrounds (including parking lot animals) must be tagged with an official, federally recognized ear tag.

Ear tags for swine entering the Stephens County Fairgrounds should have a nationally unique number and a US Shield emblem. These are unlawful to remove after application.

Option 1) Metal “brite” tag. These are also referred to as “NUES tags” or “Pass Tags”. They come in two different sizes (pictured is the larger version). Most all large animal veterinarians will have these. State Departments of Agriculture should also be capable of sending these directly to their producers. ODAFF can only send these to OK producers.

Option 2) “RFID”, “EID”, “AIN”, or“840 tags”. Available by sale from the major tag manufactures with a Premises Identification Number (PIN). ODAFF may supply directly to OK producers.

Al Christian update

Al Christian update 10/17/13


Al has been released from hospital and is recuperating now at home... his home address is 1002 Arizona Avenue, Ames, Iowa 50014 - 3611, if you want send a card or note...

His cell number is 515.460.4352 or his home phone is 515.292.2257...

America's Best Genetics feature in International Pig Topics

America's Best Genetics (ABG), a division of the National Swine Registry (NSR), was featured in International Pig Topics magazine's "Breeder Review."

The write-up highlighted both ABG and NSR's commitment to being the source for pure genetic progress. Through the ABG program, purebred breeders combine their experience from years of raising breeding stock with modern technical advances to continue to make genetic progress in the Duroc, Hampshire, Landrace and Yorkshire breeds that can improve commercial producers' bottom lines. 

In order to best serve the commercial swine industry, ABG members continue to emphasize the production of seedstock with documented quality and predictability with programs like the Swine Testing and Genetic Evaluation System (STAGES™). 

Developed by the NSR to facilitate genetic improvement, STAGES™ calculates the most economically significant traits and predicts the genetic value of each pig. Through accurate data collection and reporting, a database of nearly two million performance records has been compiled for numerous economically relevant traits, and with state-of-the-art technology, EPDs and indexes are updated each evening. These predictions of genetic merit, coupled with a DNA-verified pedigree structure, help purebred operations find ways to make hogs better and more profitable, and help ABG members market their genetics to more than 40 countries.

To learn more about ABG pick up the latest International Pig Topics magazine (Vol. 28, No. 6) and flip to page 19, or contact Doug Newcom, Vice President of Global Technical Service, at

Al Christian contact info


Here is an update on Al Christian... Al suffered a hemorrhagic stroke in the cerebellum following the National Barrow Show... Last week he was moved to Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames, Iowa, from Mercy Hospital, for rehab. I visited Al Saturday morning and he is making progress. I know he would appreciate hearing from you all. Here is the address to send cards and letters,  Mary Greeley Medical Center, Al Christian, Room 315 Rehab, 1111 Duff Avenue, Ames, Iowa 50010

Please keep Al and his family in your thoughts and prayers!

NSR promotes purebred genetics abroad with a trade trip to Vietnam

NSR Vice President of Global Technical Service Dr. Doug Newcom spent a week in Vietnam promoting purebred swine genetics during an agricultural trade mission held in conjunction with the US Grains Council’s 5th Vietnam Swine Symposiums. 


The symposiums, held in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, were two-day seminars designed to provide technical information about genetics, health, management and feed mill operations to Vietnam swine producers and allied-industry partners, feed and nutrition companies. 

More than 200 attendees participated in the events that highlighted American production practices. Newcom presented on breed selection and on-farm evaluation and herd monitoring and recording. In addition to Newcom, other presenters included Dr. Bob Thaler, of South Dakota State University; Dr. Barry Kerkaert, of the Pipestone Veterinary Clinic;  and Dr. Rommel Salobu, of the University of Philippines at Los Banos. 

The group also visited swine farms in Vietnam. Kerkaert and Newcom toured the Vinh Tan firm, a 3,500-sow commercial producer with 20,000 finishing spaces. The group expressed interest in a 1,200-sow GGP/GP herd and feed mill.  Thaler and Salobu visited Viet Chau, a 300-sow farm and grains importer, and Mr. Pham Van Bo who operates a 300-sow farm.

Newcom joined a discussion with Max Waldo, owner of Waldo Farms, Inc., regarding a possible joint-venture operation in Vietnam, which would continue to increase the influence of NSR’s purebred genetics abroad. 

Finally, the group met with the new USDA Counselor for Agricultural Affairs from the US Embassy in Hanoi.

When we marked cards in Austin: stories from the NSR staff

Brian’s story
It is the dream of every hog kid to win the NBS judging contest. This is a dream that was shared by me and my best friend and teammate through college, Jeremy Jones of Bluffton, Ind. As kids growing up in the same county, we both had a drive to pursue judging at the college level and made the decision to attend Black Hawk East Community College. There were many nights that Jeremy and I would stay up in our college apartment talking about our anticipation, excitement and absolute fear of the NBS contest. We even tore out contest results and ads from the Seedstock EDGE to cover the walls of our apartment. 
I remember the pilgrimage trip our sophomore year like it was yesterday. I placed the last class of Berkshire gilts backwards at the Iowa State University workout and thought the world had ended. I’m pretty sure one of my coaches considered making me walk to Austin, Minn., from Ames, Iowa. I called my dad the night before the contest, and I remember him telling me to sort the hogs like I was in the barn at home. The next day, our team judged in Crane Pavilion, and we had an outstanding day off the floor. Our drops were between 5 and 12 points individually. One of my favorite memories was being a part of the winning team and hearing Jeremy’s name announced as high individual on Tuesday morning.
Two years later, Jones and I continued as teammates at Purdue University. Our senior year, I was fortunate enough to win high individual in the University division. For me and Jeremy, it was a storybook ending for two kids that grew up in awe of the NBS tradition.
I have many other great memories as a former coach of unlikely students that stepped up on contest day to help the team. One thing is for sure, anyone that has had a chance to travel on the pilgrimage trip and compete in Austin walked away from that contest with their own stories and new friendships along the way.

Katie’s story
Even though I grew up a "cattle kid," the National Barrow Show judging contest was the most defining competition of my judging career. I like to say it was both my best and worst moment as a collegiate judger.
Unlike a lot of the “hog kids” reading this story, I entered Crane Pavilion petrified. Hogs were always my "make-or-break" species. And being on the floor for the NBS meant I would mark cards on the toughest swine classes we would see all year. 
Amid all the classes that I sorted that day, Yorkshire boars will always be the one I remember.To this day, I could describe the four boars in that class. I think I will probably be able to describe them until the day I die. Frantically, I filled up my steno with everything I saw, and swirling in my head was what I believed would be the greatest set of reasons I could give. I confidently marked the card, turned it in and headed for the reasons room.
I remember it was the only set I didn’t feel nervous giving because I felt so sure of the way I saw the boars. I walked in that room and didn’t just deliver that set – no, I nailed it!
When our coach picked us up, I went on and on about that set.
“Oh Chip, you should have heard it. I’ll give it to you right now, because it was amazing. That set was flawless.”
Although he was happy I felt I’d done well, he had a bigger question, “How’d you place them?”
I’ll never forget the look on his face when I told him.
“What? That’s dang near backwards,” he exclaimed among other things. At that point, I felt the blood drain from my face, and I became yet another cattle kid who floundered in Austin, Minn.
I was feeling pretty defeated as I sat next to my teammates waiting for the awards ceremony at the breeding hog show on Tuesday morning. Then the speaker announced, “4th Place in Senior College Reasons from the University of Missouri – Katie Maupin.”
What? Was there a mistake?
I couldn’t believe it as I walked down to the floor. The only thing I could think was, How?
Our coach, Chip, grabbed the results and flipped to the scores to see that the epic set of Yorkshire boar reasons – the same class that I placed nearly backwards – scored a 49. To this day, Chip isn’t sure how I pulled it off. I stand behind the fact that it was indeed a stellar set, and it will always be one of my greatest accomplishments. That plaque sits in my office today.
But more important than that plaque or the placing, I learned a valuable lesson:  in judging and in life, it’s not always about how you place, it’s about your perspective.

Attention National Barrow Show Exhibitors: Updated Health Requirements

Due to the introduction of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus in isolated swine herds in the United States, it has been recommended by our show veterinarian to require the amended statement below on health certificates of animals being exhibited at the National Barrow Show.

“All health certificates must carry the following statements: Farm or origin of the swine has not had pseudorabies or swine dysentery in the last 12 months, has not had any signs or diagnosis of TGE or PEDv in the last 60 days,  feeds no garbage, uses no PRV vaccine, and is not under quarantine for any disease condition; also that vesicular stomatitus has not been diagnosed within 10 miles of the farm of origin within the last 30 days."

The statement above is required to be included on health certificates in order to exhibit and sell animals at the National Barrow Show. We look forward to another great event and hope to see you in Austin.

State Fair Success!

Congratulations to all junior exhibitors of purebred barrows and gilts on their success during the Midwest state fair season. Throughout the summer, junior purebred hogs have recieved Grand, Reserve Grand and top five honors at multiple state fairs. In support of these accomplishments, the National Swine Registry, along with each of the four individual breed associations, provides numerous premiums to exhibitors of these winning entries.

The Yorkshire gilt below, shown by Delaney Vickrey, Huntington, IN, is just one of the many succesful purebred gilts exhibited at state fairs this summer. Delaney will recieve $500 courtesy of the American Yorkshire Club.

Reserve Grand Champion Gilt & Champion Yorkshire
2013 Indiana State Fair
She sells Saturday, August 17 at the Indiana State Fair Yorkshire Sale
(ARK2 Final Move 154-8 x TBRO0 Wow 53-4)

As a reminder to all junior exhibitors, be sure to check your state fair premium books to learn how to obtain these awards. In many cases, the United Duroc Swine Registry, Hampshire Swine Registry, American Landrace Association and American Yorkshire Club offer monetary awards for breed champions and overall grand champion honors. The National Swine Registry is proud to support youth who are actively involved in showing purebreds.

Tangrenshen Group representatives tour the NSR office

Representatives from Tangrenshen (TRS) and Whiteshire Hamroc  visited the National Swine Registry (NSR) office in West Lafayette, Ind., on Friday, Aug. 9. Scott Lawrence, Whiteshire Hamroc executive vice president; Jason Feng, Beijing Whiteshire joint venture production service manager; Mr. Sun, TRS financial department member; and Mr. Zhou and Mr. Yang, TRS feed sales representatives visited with NSR CEO Mike Paul and Vice President of Global Technical Service Dr. Doug Newcom about the National Swine Registry, America’s Best Genetic and the performance testing behind NSR performance records, EPDs and economically-relevant indexes.

 Tangrenshen is one of China’s most progressive agricultural companies. Throughout the last quarter of a century, the company has become the sixth largest feed processor in China and the eleventh largest meat processor.  TRS market meat through their network of convenience stores and own more than 35 feed mills in 17 different provinces and several meat-processing plants. 

Tangrenshen’s goal is to become a completely integrated pork system from the farm to the consumer.  One of the first steps to reach this goal is to advance swine genetics so the Meishen Whiteshire breeding stock farm in Zhuzhou, Hunan Province, China, was populated. It has been in production since the fall of 2008.  It was the first foreign swine farm to receive U.S. pedigrees and registrations from NSR, and was recognized as one of China’s top Nucleus Farms in 2011.

Tangrenshen and Whiteshire Hamroc have further strengthened their partnership in the last several months. First, they are adding a second Meishen Whiteshire breeding stock farm. Currently, they are finishing construction in Hebei Province, China, and the site is expected to be populated with elite breeding animals from Whiteshire Hamroc’s U.S. nucleus farms in October 2013. Second, the companies signed a joint venture agreement to build a 1,200 sow technology center in Kimmell, Ind. Construction is set to begin on the Meishen Whiteshire International Swine Breeding Company LLC’s USA technology center in Spring 2014.

Whiteshire Hamroc looks forward to many more years of cooperation with TRS Group to continue to improve swine and agriculture management practices around the world.

2013 "Take Me Out To the Showring" is Under Way

Exhibitors and their families poured into Louisville, Ky., for the National Junior Summer Spectacular (NJSS). Each year, a theme is chosen for the show. This year, it's all the sport that is as American as apple pie - Baseball and the love for the game. More than 700 exhibitors from 27 states are represented at this year's show.

NJSS officially started on Tuesday, July 2. After registration, juniors got involved with the MVP Celebration and Barnyard Olympics. Below are some candid shots from both events. 

Today, the Ag Sales and Skillathon contests took place. Then opening ceremonies familiarized juniors with the National Swine Registry staff, NJSA Board, Board Candidates and the show schedule.
If you are unable to attend the 2013 National Junior Summer Spectacular, the Marketing & Communications Team will be providing live coverage of this week's event. Be sure to check the NSR Shows & Sales blog and also our twitter feed (@NationalSwine) for results.Twitter users are encouraged to use the #NJSS hash tag all week.

Good luck to those exhibiting!

2013 World Pork Expo Kicks Off

The 2013 World Pork Expo (WPX) is officially under way in Des Moines, Iowa. A record-breaking 2,527 entries poured into the Iowa State Fairgrounds for the 25th anniversary of the WPX. The National Swine Registry staff is eager to start the week off with the World Pork Expo Junior National show, tomorrow.

Below are some candids from around the barn as exhibitors prepare for the upcoming week by unloading and registering their entries. 

Registration began at 1 p.m.

Expo enthusiasts of all ages gather for the event.

unloading the trailer is an occurring event on Tuesday.

After exhibitors get settled in they head to the wash rack. 

At Expo, feed and water comes first for the pigs.

Teamwork is shown throughout the barn.

Multi-tasking becomes an art during unloading.

If you are unable to attend the 2013, 25th Annual World Pork Expo, the NSR Marketing and Communications crew will be providing live coverage of this week’s show. Be sure to check the NSR Shows & Sales blog and also our twitter feed (@NationalSwine) for results. Twitter users are encouraged to use the hashtag #NPPCWPX all week.

Best of luck to those exhibiting; see you in Des Moines!

World Pork Expo - There's an App for That!

It’s that time of year to start gearing up for the 2013 World Pork Expo (WPX) held June 5-7 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa. WPX is an industry innovating event that attracts around 20,000 pork producers and allied industry professionals.

This year marks the 25th anniversary for the show. WPX has been a place to discover advancements in technology, swine health, environment, and producer effectiveness from specialists and companies in the industry. It also allows swine exhibitors to compete in different events such as, showmanship, judging contests, and of course showing and selling their pigs. 

Application Icon
This year, exhibitors, sponsors and spectators can stay up-to-date with the 2013 World Pork Expo application featured on many smartphones. Craig Boelling, director of industry resource development for the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is part of the team that developed the app. The app is sponsored by the National Pork Producers Council and the National Hog Farmer. With this app, convenience is key. It's versatile, allowing people to access a realm of different sectors related to the Expo. Categories within the app interface include: exhibitors, maps, events, speakers, seminars, twitter, local places, my downloads, weather and swine shows.

App Benefits for Exhibitors

Application Dashboard
The application meets needs and demands of busy people wanting to organize their WPX experience. With smartphones becoming more popular, along with major technological advancements, it is vital to stay connected through these types of interfaces. The app's dashboard allows users to explore the different facets of the program. It features easy-to-follow graphics and is user friendly.

Ever feel lost within the hustle of the Expo? The new 2013 World Pork Expo app can assist by providing a virtual map of the Iowa State Fairgrounds. 

Maps: Virtual maps give exhibitors a bird’s eye view of the fairgrounds and also break down the trade show into different booths.
Maps Main Page
Virtual Map

After selecting a venue on the fairgrounds, the app will then direct you to the virtual map.

You can "pinch" or "span" to zoom-in on the specific vendor you are wanting to visit.

Need to know when important deadlines and shows are? The app allows exhibitors to use and set alerts, such as entry deadlines, check-in times and weight cards collection.

Swine Shows and Schedule’s: One feature that is very helpful to swine show exhibitors is the swine shows icon, located on the home dashboard. The swine shows icon will allow exhibitors to set alerts by clicking on the star next to the event. It will then integrate into the exhibitor’s calendar. 

After selecting a show or event to add to your calendar, the alert window will show up.
Alert Option
Schedule of Shows

Local Places
Local Places:  
This option allows 
families to access things they want to do after show and in their downtime. This section lets them explore restaurants, attractions, and other things to do around Des Moines. 

Weather: Preparing for a week at WPX is complete with the weather section of the app. Exhibitors and their families can show up to the fairgrounds prepared for Mother Nature’s plans.

Detailed forecast and information for the Des Moines area is shown within this sector of the app. By selecting the weather option, the National Weather Center's page is displayed in an accomodating design. Users are able to check out daily, hourly and weekly forecasts for World Pork Expo. 


Seminars: Wanting to stay up-to-date and hear from the leading experts in the swine industry? It can be done at WPX. Through the app the seminars and speakers are highlighted though separate interfaces that show which skilled professionals are speaking, as well as when and where.

The seminars section works similar to the swine shows portion of the app, allowing users to select the star and chose seminars to attend.

Speaker Information
List of Speakers


Speakers: Leading professionals can be found within this part of the app. If a certain speaker is selected, another page will then show their title, topic, and time and place of their presentation.

While making final preparations for WPX, the 2013 World Pork Expo app is an essential for your trip to Des Moines. 

NOTE: All screenshots were captured on the iPhone version of the application.