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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Pork Producers Invited to AI School

July 2, 2002

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Workers' job satisfaction, working conditions, technical skill and attitude can affect the success of artificial insemination (AI), according to recent studies at North Carolina State University. Producers of show pigs may pay up to $500 per dose of semen, making the success of AI programs an important investment. To help Ohio's pork producers increase the efficiency of their AI programs, the Ohio Pork Industry Center (OPIC) is holding an AI school July 24, 2002, in the Animal Science Building of the Ohio State University, 2029 Fyffe Road, Columbus, Ohio. The school is designed to give hands-on training in artificial insemination and practices that will increase reproductive efficiency. The Ohio Pork Industry Center is an arm of The Ohio State University Extension that brings together expertise from an array of disciplines to help sustain the profitability of the Ohio pork industry by establishing leadership in information, technology, product quality, and sound relations with urban and rural neighbors. Designed for employees and decision makers involved with the breeding and gestation area of pork producing operation, the day will consist of demonstrations on collecting boar semen, and inseminating estrous sows as well as sessions addressing key issues in pork reproduction. One such issue is the effect inseminators have on reproductive performance, a significant problem according to Don Levis, Coordinator of OPIC. "The No. 1 problem I see with AI is people," he said. "People get in too big of a hurry, they don't have the proper training, or they don't understand what they are trying to accomplish." Studies have shown that overworked or disgruntled workers can greatly decrease the farrowing rate of gilts. The farrowing rate decreases by almost 15 percent when a technician inseminates more than 15 gilts without taking a break. Also, unpleasantly handled gilts had a farrowing rate almost 55 percent lower than pleasantly handled gilts. Participants of OPIC's AI school will learn more about these effects and how to minimize their influence in their operation. They also will learn about the influence of biological variation on inseminations, selection of AI boars and emerging AI technologies, such as sexed semen and embryonic transfers. The school is organized into a morning, afternoon and evening program to accommodate the schedule of producers. The demonstrations will be held in the morning and evening and the educational sessions will make up the afternoon program. Participants can register for morning and afternoon, afternoon and evening, afternoon only, or all three sessions. The registration fee is $40 per person, which includes meals, refreshments and reference materials. The deadline to register is July 17 and enrollment is limited to 60 people. For more information or to register for the school, contact OPIC at 1-800-398-7675 or contact Don Levis at (614) 292-1351.

Emily McConnell
Don Levis