Discussion created on 02/10/2015

Mentorship for developing pig farmers

It does not need a scientist to tell that in each developing business, one needs a mentor. And of course a mentor will be someone who has been in the same field you are interested in, who has been practising for most of his/her business life. In farming for example, it would be expected of a commercial farmer to assisting with the mentoring of the developing farmers. And this has proven to be true in cases of grain, beef, fruits and other fields, but not as easy in the pig industry.

For bio-security reasons, not most of the commercial farmers will be able to assist developing farmers with mentorship. Especially that it has to be an on-farm mentorship, unless for some reason, both a mentor and a mentee agree to an off-farm mentorship. Not that commercial pig farmers are not willing, but due to the fear of putting their business at risks, it becomes a bit of a challenge.

Please share some ideas with me on how to address the issue of a commercial pig farmer mentoring a developing pig farmers, with the aim of becoming profitable and sustainable, and therefore graduating to a commercial level as well.

Thank you in advance.!

Kgadi Senyatsi
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February 16, 2015
Dear Kgadi Senyatsi, I take courses on Swine Production On-Line with the On-Line Swine Science Program put on by the U.S. Center for Pork Excellence. You can earn a certificate, and classes are usually one hour credit and cost about $370 U.S. dollars. I am listed as a Iowa State University Student, but this is a program run by a consortium of Universities of which there are about eight universities involved. The courses are both practical and science based. Many of the Professors are very active in Consulting and in Research. I think this is a great way to learn about the Hog Industry and about Swine Production Practices. Also Purdue University puts out a Pork Industry Handbook with short articles on all aspects of Swine Production. These are ways to learn about Hog Production without the risk of the spread of disease. I hope this helps you in your quest!

Paul Walker Thompson
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Jon Bergstrom
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