Joel DeRouchey – New KSU Swine Unit

(Conrad) Welcome back to Farm Factor. I’m your host Conrad Kabus. Recently our show was invited to an open house at the ASI Swine Teaching and Research Center for the viewing of the new Swine Nursery Facility. Farm Factor spoke with Joel DeRouchey, who is happy to see the new facility come to fruition. (Joel) My name is Joel DeRouchey. I work in the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University in the Department of Animal Sciences sand Industry and I’m part of our Applied Swine Nutrition Team here at K-State. Today we’re at an open house here at the K-State Swine Teaching and Research Center located just north of Manhattan at our livestock facilities that our Department of Animal Science and Industry operates and owns. Today we are excited for the opening of a new swine building. It’s a new nursery building where pigs that once we wean them or remove them from their mothers are moved here during the nursery stage from about three weeks of age until 12 weeks of age. And in this barn they’ll be kept and housed and this is where we’ll care for them. They’ll get their feed and water. We’ll provide an opportunity for those pigs to grow and do well in this particular facility before we move them to one of our finishing facilities here at the same farm where then they’re finished until marketing time. (Conrad) The nursery is set up to be a new teaching/research facility for undergrad and grad students to come in and learn about the new advancement in swine practice and care so they can apply these tactics in their future operations. (Joel) This facility came about through an idea to expand some of the teaching as well research opportunities that this swine farm can have for producers. And so right now, because of our increase in production of sows we were very tight on space in our existing nursery area. So, we developed the idea to build this new nursery to allow for expanded space, which then allows for less total labor of employees to move pigs where we were having to before because we were out of space. Now with this additional nursery we were able to save labor here at the farm, as well as we want to improve the teaching experience for our undergraduate as well as graduate students. So any time we put up a new barn, we’re able to use the most modern equipment that is used in the commercial industry by our producers and so we are able to show and demonstrate this type of equipment so our undergraduates are familiar with it once they leave K-State and enter the work force and work with swine producers. (Conrad) The K-State applied nutrition team helps Kansas producers around the state with their operation and with this new facility Kansas State can do even more to help producers. (Joel) This farm, from a research standpoint, our Kansas producers rely on our K-State applied nutrition team for many answers to questions that they have and this barn will actually help with that from the standpoint that we will now be able to do research from when we wean the pigs at about 12 pounds all the way up to 90 pounds of body weight. Previously we were limited and having to stop research at about 50 pounds because of our capacity limits of our existing facility. So, now we’ll be able to provide answers and have more opportunities for pigs weighing 50 to 90 pounds which is a very critical age in terms of growth and development for our pigs in the industry. (Conrad) Stay tuned. After the break when we focus on the Kansas Department of Agriculture that was awarded a specialty crop block grant.

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