The 2016 World Pork Expo is being held in Des Moines at the Iowa State Fairgrounds from June 8th through the 10th.
People travel from all over the world to visit the World Pork Expo to learn about new technologies and advancements in the world of producing pork. New equipment such as feed grinders and manure spreaders, climate control improvements for hog confinements, and even new designs in floor slats for hog confinements were on display across the fairgrounds.
Among all of the new equipment, vendors from across America lined the main concourse, offering up apparel, random odds and ends, and of course, anything and everything that has to do with pork. Some of the food is even free.
Among the vendors was a mission group based out of Eagle Grove, Iowa, called GoServ Global. Ken DeYoung, co-founder of GoServ Global, started out by delivering supplies to Haiti after the earthquake in 2010. DeYoung then became involved in rescuing orphans off the street in Haiti, which is where GoServ started.
GoServ Global uses the Safe T Home in countries such as Haiti and Peru. A Safe T Home is a small home made from a grain bin.
“There was an employee at Sukup who was toying around with the idea of making it into a home, and so he had done a lot of the engineering on paper. When the earthquake hit in Haiti, he talked to one of the Sukup owners, and they then put it in development, and about six months later, we started to get involved with them. So really, it’s a Sukup product, engineered by Sukup, and then we were able to come alongside them. We raise the money and purchase them for the project that we have,” said Domestic Director, Dennis Anderson.
The structures aren’t as large as a normal grain bin, but they are bigger than one would expect.
“All the ones that we have right now are 18 feet in diameter, and they are 256 square feet. We do put a loft in them, which is half of that, so that adds another 125 square feet,” said Anderson.
The Safe T Houses are also classrooms and clinics.
“We have a full time agronomist there that’s working with the Haitians, so he’s learning from them, and he’s also teaching them. We’re helping them be more efficient in their agricultural operations,” Anderson said.
Other activities of interest to World Pork Expo-goers were the World Pork Expo Junior National Swine Shows, the World Pork Expo Open Swine Show, and the seminars held in the Varied Industries Building.
One of the longer seminars in the Varied Industries Building was about changes in antibiotic usage on livestock. Richard Sellers of the American Feed Industry Association, and Doctor Sam Holst of the Swine Vet Center in St. Peter, Minnesota were the speakers.
Sellers began his portion of the presentation by explaining what the American Feed Industry does.
“Our principle function since 1909 has been to produce safe feed, promote safe feed, and keep the state laws uniform and interfaced with federal government.”
Sellers went on to explain what a Veterinary Feed Directive, or VFD is. A VFD is both the form, and the drug. VFDs were introduced with the Animal Drug Availability Act of 1996. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wanted to do prescription medicated feed, which would have been difficult to do, due to the requirement of having a veterinarian or pharmacist dispense the prescription medicated feed.
The FDA is looking for less use of drugs in feed, so it amended the VFD rule in June of 2015, and the changes will fully take effect on January 1st, 2017.
The new rules have also changed what the expiration date means on VFDs.
“The expiration date used to mean that was the last day we could manufacture it. Not anymore. The FDA says it’s the last day the producer can use it, so you need to be working with your feed supplier to get those dates lined up, so that your treatment doesn’t stop in the middle of the VFD expiration,” said Sellers.
Holst then spoke, and he said the changes really boil down to two main points.
“One, as Richard mentioned, our growth promotion claims, so our increased average daily gain and our approved feed efficiency claims, for those antibiotics that the FDA has considered medically important to human health, those claims will be going away for those products. The second point is that for the products that remain for therapeutic usage, so our prevention, control, and treatment type uses, there will be increased veterinary oversight for those types of products. That will be carried out twofold, so one, those medically important products that are delivered through the feed will require a Veterinary Feed Directive. Additionally, those medically important antibiotics that are administered via drinking water will require a veterinary prescription,” said Holst.
Finally, Holst said that everything comes down to producers having thorough communication between all parties involved, the producer, the veterinarian, the feed distributors, and the feed mills.
For more information, you can check out the FDA’s website, http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/DevelopmentApprovalProcess/ucm071807.htm.
Finally, a huge thank you and shout out to Ozinga Feed Service in Oskaloosa, Vroegh Brothers Showpigs, and Parks Livestock of Iowa in Ottumwa for making this possible.
Story by George Henry