Better Pork Featured Articles

Better Pork is published bimonthly. After each edition is published, we share two feature articles online. Each magazine includes much more content. If you enjoy reading the Better Pork articles below, be sure to subscribe to the magazine!

How scientists use pigs to save lives

Better Pork explores some of the ways that pigs have contributed to biomedical research, and how scientists’ use of these animals may support new medical advances.

by Jackie Clark

In the spring, a team of researchers – including University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign scientists and industry partners – approached a professor in the university’s animal sciences department to collaborate on a project intended to help address the COVID-19 crisis.

How to reduce seasonal effects on sows’ fertility

As summer’s hot temperatures approach, farmers should enact preventive measures to maintain sow performance.

by Kate Ayers

Many people happily welcome the summer sun and heat because they think of time spent outdoors swimming, playing and lounging. While farmers also embrace the sun and heat to support field crop and forage development, the summer also brings some livestock management challenges. For hog farmers, seasonal infertility can be a costly consequence of higher temperatures outside and inside barns.

The logistics and ethics of swine research

Scientists work closely with pork producers, truck drivers and processing plant staff to identify research priorities and fill knowledge gaps.

by Jackie Clark

Swine producers across Canada do the hard, daily work of raising pigs. Farmers care for sows throughout gestation and farrowing, monitor the health of piglets, and feed hogs until they are ready to ship to market.

The quest for a ‘made-in-Canada’ price

Pork producers are lobbying for a fair pricing model that reflects the quality of their products.

by Kate Ayers

When an automobile manufacturer dedicates extra time and effort to ensure its vehicles are safe and of high quality, customers are often willing to pay a little more for this attention to detail. Shouldn’t a similar premium pricing model apply to the Canadian pork production marketplace?

Strep zoo: a new threat for the swine industry

Researchers have identified a new strain of Strep zoo as the cause of sudden sow mortalities in Canada and the United States, but many questions remain unanswered.

by Jackie Clark

A pathogen that is familiar in the horse world now seems to have entered swine herds in North America, with deadly consequences. The bacterial strain is called Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus, or Strep zoo for short.

Hog Barn Managers: ‘The Glue That Holds the Vision to Reality’

They’re in high demand but must possess the right skills, work ethic and personality to succeed.

by Kate Ayers

The Canadian swine sector’s production level is projected to increase by 2.3 per cent per year in the next decade, a Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) fact sheet says.

To ensure this growth, the industry needs the right people to get the work done. And barn managers with proficient skills and qualifications can lead the industry to new heights.


The Quest to ‘Pork Up’ Swine Resiliency

Researchers, farmers and other stakeholders all have roles to play in addressing this production challenge.

by Nicholas Van Allen

Swine industry stakeholders around the world are working to tackle a big issue: finding a way to consistently improve pigs’ disease resiliency.

Pork Producers Protect the Environment

Canadian hog farmers are global leaders in environmental stewardship and sustainability. This month, we celebrate the industry’s accomplishments and highlight new opportunities.

by Kate Ayers

Canadian swine producers strive to take optimal care of their livestock and the environment, protecting them for the next generations.

Support for Mental Health on the Farm

Given the ongoing stressors in the pork sector, we must support mental health and assist producers.

by Geoff Geddes

Ups and downs are facts of life for pork producers, but what happens when you’ve fallen psychologically and you can’t get up?

How do you cope when depression, stress or anxiety appear uninvited and refuse to leave?

Modernizing pork’s grading system

Industry stakeholders aim to improve pork classification tools, which should increase the sector’s market competitiveness.

by Kate Ayers

While pork remains the third-most popular meat (behind chicken and beef) for Canadians, global “pork consumption is stagnating in established markets at a time when world meat consumption is increasing.