The impacts of COVID-19 on the swine industry are immense and will continue to challenge us for some time. The insults have identified some of the structural deficiencies in our industry and force us to pause and evaluate how our industry has responded and where it needs to change. This is also a time to evaluate our response, examine what we’ve learned, and understand the solutions we need to pursue.
Our Monday keynote lecturers, Mark Greenwood of Compeer Financial, Bill Kaelin of McVean Trading and Investments, Paul Yeske of the Swine Veterinary Center, and Dave Priesler of the Minnesota Pork Producers’ Association, will discuss the impact COVID-19 has had in the swine industry and where we should go from here, how price discovery in the hog market needs to change to keep swine producers in business, the responses producers and veterinarians had to lead to quickly adapt to the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19 and, finally, what lessons we need to learn from all this so that we can come up with a more robust, vibrant, and resilient swine industry.
Where have we been and where should we go? (8:30-9:30 a.m.)
Mark Greenwood, Compeer Financial
Mark is the chief diversified markets officer at Compeer Financial. Mark serves on the organization’s Asset/Liability Committee. He graduated from Minnesota State University with a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration and a minor in Economics. Mark was born and raised on a farm in southern Minnesota and has been involved in agriculture for his entire business career. He is a member of National Pork Producers, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, the Minnesota Soybean Association, and GreenSeam Business Group. Mark is an avid Minnesota Vikings fan and enjoys watching sports and reading. He runs 10k road races and loves to spend time with his grandkids.
Price discovery in the hog market (9:30-10:30 a.m. )
Bill Kaelin, McVean Trading and Investments, LLC
Bill Kaelin is a Managing Member of K & M Trading, LLC, a commodity-trading advisor registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Bill was an associated person of McVean Trading & Investments, LLC from November 1991 to August 2013. His primary focus is on research and trading in the agricultural markets in general and livestock in particular. Before joining McVean Trading, Bill worked for Citicorp in the asset and liability management and corporate finance departments. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University and learned an MBA in finance from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. Bill is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honorary Business Society.
The swine producer's and veterinarian's response to COVID-19 (11:00-11:45 a.m.)
Paul Yeske, Swine Vet Center
Dr. Yeske is currently practicing as a swine veterinary consultant in a 15-person, exclusively swine practice at the Swine Vet Center in Saint Peter, MN. He graduated from Iowa State University with a DVM, University of Minnesota with an MS, and University of Illinois from the EVP program. He has presented the Howard Dunn lecture and received the Swine Practitioner of the year, the Science in Practice award from University of Minnesota, and the Science in Practice award from Iowa State. Dr. Yeske is involved with multiple organizations and has served on several advisory boards with genetic and pharmaceutical companies, with over 100 invited presentations and multiple publications in proceedings.
2020: The lessons we need to learn (11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.)
Dave Preisler, Minnesota Pork Board
David Preisler has been serving Minnesota’s pig farmers for more than 20 years as CEO of the Minnesota Pork Producers Association (MPPA) and Minnesota Pork Board (MPB), where he oversees projects associated with the two organizations carried out by the seven member staff at the Mankato-based MPPA/MPB office. As CEO, he advocates for Minnesota’s pig farmers and informs public policy makers, as well as other audiences, on pig farming and its value to all of Minnesota. His legislative work takes place at the local, state and national levels. MPPA is a voluntary membership organization of pig farmers, contract growers, farm employees, and allied industry partners. David also oversees the investment of check-off dollars in research, promotion, and education programs on behalf of the Minnesota Pork Board. Prior to becoming MPPA and MPB CEO, David worked for the University of Minnesota Extension Service and as an agricultural education agent. He graduated from North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota.
Emerging coronaviruses of humans and animals: Origin, interspecies transmission and vaccine strategies (1:30-2:15 p.m.)
Linda Saif, The Ohio State University
Dr. Linda Saif is a Distinguished University Professor at The Ohio State University (OSU) in the Food Animal Health Research Program (OARDC) and the Veterinary Preventive Medicine Department (CVM, OSU). She is a virologist and immunologist, whose research focuses on comparative aspects of enteric and respiratory viral
infections (coronaviruses, rotaviruses and caliciviruses) of food animals and humans.
Her lab studies mucosal immunity and vaccine development, the interrelationships among animal viruses, especially coronaviruses, and their human counterparts to assess their zoonotic potential, mechanisms of interspecies transmission and potential Vaccines.
Dr. Saif is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (2003) and an elected Fellow of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists (1990), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1995) and the American Academy of Microbiology (2004). In 2015, she became the first woman to receive the Wolf Prize in Agriculture. She has served as a member of advisory teams for various US and international organizations (USAID, CDC, WHO, etc), she was a Fulbright Scholar (Argentina) and she serves on several journal editorial boards (Proc Nat Acad Sci, Ann Rev Animal Biosciences). Her laboratory serves as a WHO International Reference Lab for Animal Coronaviruses within the SARS Coronavirus Network and as an International Reference Lab for TGEV porcine coronavirus for the Office International des Epizooties, Paris, France. Dr. Saif has authored or coauthored over 325 journal publications and 61 book chapters pertaining to her research.
Change is constant in the swine industry. However, change comes in many shapes and forms. On Tuesday, Mr. Myrl Mortenson, Dave Wade, and Dr. Tara Donovan from The Hanor Company and will present how their vision for change includes a strategy to bring added value to their business. From multiplication to environmental stewardship, from being at the forefront of implementing technologies to improve health and productivity to strategic partnerships that add value in final processing—all strategies are designed to capture value from the farm to the table.
Bringing value to swine businesses also entails looking at other industries and learning from the challenges they faced, in particular when responding to a foreign animal disease. Dr. Michelle Kromm, vice president of Jennie-O animal health and welfare and veterinarian for Hormel Foods, will share her HPAI (high pathogenic avian influenza) and COVID-19 response experiences, focusing on the importance of industry involvement in preparing for and effectively responding to an emergency to better position the swine industry to respond to new diseases, such as African Swine Fever.
Value Added Pork Production (8:30–9:30 a.m.)
Myrl Mortenson, David Wade, and Tara Donovan, Hanor
Myrl Mortenson is a visionary leader who helped shape the global swine industry with a vision to bring value to the business, from the farm to the table. Myrl is President of the Hanor Company which he founded with partners in 1997. He has grown Hanor’s operations to over 650 employees caring for pigs in 780 farms across seven states. Myrl’s vision culminated in 2006 when Hanor and its partners formed Triumph Foods pork processing plant in Saint Joseph, Missouri. In 2017, a second pork processing plant was added in Sioux City, Iowa, along with a partnership with Daily’s to complete the integrated pig production system by adding value in final processing.
Dave Wade is vice-president of Operations at Hanor, where he has been integral in the growth of the operation by managing the genetic and sow operations since inception. Dave has a lifelong history in pig production: he was born and raised on a 1,100-acre grain farm in west central Minnesota that included a 50-sow batch farrow farm. In 1967 Dave’s father built a 200-head, fully slatted deep pit barn, and a few years later in 1974 he remodeled the farrowing house to Big Dutchman farrowing crates that included in-floor electric heated creep areas. His passion for pig farming continued throughout his career, working with Sand Livestock systems in Nebraska to Michigan in the 1980s and then on to PIC for the next decade in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma. In 1997 he joined Hanor as part of the founding team responsible for making Hanor what it is today.
Dr. Tara Donovan is a veterinarian and vice-president of health management for the Hanor Company. Tara graduated veterinary school from Kansas State in 1998 and went to work at Hanor in their Oklahoma operation upon graduation. She has spent her career at Hanor and has grown with the company in many different roles. Currently, she oversees the company’s preventive health and animal well-being programs. Her responsibilities include oversight of a team of veterinarians and technicians responsible for animal caregiver training, oversight of the company’s animal well-being and quality assurance programs, biosecurity program training and development, pharmaceutical management and compliance, and on-farm swine health practices.
The Role of Industry in an Incident Response to a Disease Emergency (9:30–10:30 a.m.)
Michelle Kromm, Jennie-O and Hormel Foods
Dr. Michelle Kromm is a board-certified poultry veterinarian and the vice-president of Animal Health and Welfare at Jennie-O Turkey Store. She completed her doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University and concurrently completed a master’s degree in Public Health at the University of Iowa. Upon graduation, Michelle packed her bags and headed south to the University of Georgia to complete a master’s in Avian Medicine. She joined Jennie-O in 2007 as a staff veterinarian. In her current role, she supports the animal welfare, antibiotic stewardship, and preharvest food safety programs at Jennie-O. She played a critical role in the response activities during the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreak in 2015. Most recently, Michelle has served as a scientific advisor and public health liaison for Hormel and Jennie-O’s joint COVID-19 response.