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!

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.

Pork sector success: simple to say, harder to achieve

Swine industry experts share tips about business management to help improve your bottom line.

by Geoff Geddes

In some respects, producing pork is like becoming a millionaire: if it were easy, everyone would do it.

In both cases, success hinges on the mastery of many elements. The process sounds intimidating, but profiting in the pork sector – like making your first million – starts by learning from the people who have done it.

Risk Management

The pork sector ramps up battle against S. suis

This endemic disease affects swine operations around the globe. Scientists continue to search for effective solutions.

by Kate Ayers

Although African swine fever has dominated the spotlight for a year, this disease is not the only one about which the swine sector worries.

Dealing with animal-rights activists

Reps from Canada’s swine sector discuss recent clashes and what farmers and truckers can do to protect themselves.

by Geoff Geddes

Wanted: pig transport driver. Must be thick-skinned, unfazed by confrontation and able to navigate human blockades. Apply now!

Take control of on-farm data

Swine producers use a range of technologies on their farms to increase efficiency. Learn how to maximize the benefits from your data.

by Kate Ayers

In the ag industry, and especially in the swine sector, producers can collect a dizzying amount of data from their operations. As a result, farmers can face challenges when they try to manage, interpret and best use this information.

However, when properly managed, operational and environmental data can benefit all types of swine production systems.

How to succeed with succession

Industry experts and a pork producer share tips to get the ball rolling on what is often seen as a daunting – albeit important – process.

by Geoff Geddes

Like taxes and rumours of an early frost, passing the farm to the next generation is a topic we’d rather avoid. Given the high stakes and the size of today’s farming operations, however, dodging the subject is just not an option.

Fortunately, if you prepare properly, consult with experts and take it in bite-sized pieces, succession planning can be a life-changing experience.

Fuelling up: optimizing body condition during lactation

Farmers must ensure that their breeding animals meet daily nutrient and energy requirements to maintain healthy herds and litters.

by Kate Ayers

Breeding sows can be likened to Formula One race cars, says Mark Bodenham, the swine business manager at Masterfeeds at the London, Ont. office.

This company provides farmers with animal nutrition solutions.

Manage risk or it will manage you

The Canadian pork industry can draw on a range of risk management tools; finding the right mix for your operation is key.

by Geoff Geddes

As bomb defusers can attest, some jobs are riskier than others. While pork producers may not risk life and limb, their livelihoods are on the line when times get tough.

In an ideal world, we could eliminate risk and farming would be stress-free. But, for those forced to live in the real world, the next best thing is risk management.

Getting at the ‘guts’ of piglet health

Producers can review biosecurity, nutrition and animal husbandry practices to get their pigs off to a good start.

by Kate Ayers

A strong swine herd begins with good piglet gut health, says Dr. Ben Willing, an associate professor in the agricultural, life and environmental sciences department at the University of Alberta.

Indeed, “intestinal health is the foundation for systemic health in all animals,” he says.