[Back to Archived Features]
U.S. Pork Center of Excellence Emphasizes Continuous Education
The first student to complete the Swine Science Online program offered by the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence (USPCE) located at Iowa State University credits the curriculum for helping her make a career switch.
Emily Haugen of Webster City recently completed the undergraduate program in swine management. It consists of 17 courses, focused on production in the industry, with the goal of inspiring career interest through academic training and application, said David Meisinger, USPCE executive director.
“The online courses were invaluable. Students can take these courses from anywhere in the country and expand their knowledge of the industry,” said Haugen, who works at Swine Graphics Enterprises.
She said the curriculum furthered her career and made her more marketable in the industry.
"I think it will help me pursue a great career in the pig industry. I didn't realize all of the opportunities that exist with getting this certificate," Haugen said.
Haugen took 12 courses to complete online program, including Swine Feed Mill Management, Basic Swine Science, Swine Breeding and Gestation Management, Swine Nursery and Finishing Management, Employee Management for the Swine Industry and Swine Environment Management.
In 2010, USPCE introduced the undergraduate program in swine science – the first ever offered online.
Haugen grew up on a farm near Rochester, Minn. where the family had a sow operation. However, she was ready to leave the farm behind when she left for college, deciding to pursue a career in business at Minnesota State University in Mankato.
“I started to miss the farm more and more,” said Haugen. “I realized I enjoyed working in agriculture and with farmers. The Swine Science Online program was a great opportunity; it was convenient because I could still work full-time while continuing my education.”
Haugen works as a service person at Swine Graphics in Webster City, where she handles daily walk-throughs of the finishing barns and works with veterinarians and field staff concerning health issues. She hopes to improve the image of animal agriculture and eventually get a master’s degree in animal science or agriculture.
More Tools for Education
Through the courses provided by USPCE, youths and adults have a wealth of resources available to assist with industry knowledge and career development:
Professional Swine Manager curriculum is being offered at the junior college level this fall. It provides a comprehensive program of study that addresses the unique set of skills defined by production employers as necessary for successful and advancement in the pork production industry.
Certified Swine Manager designation is being developed to establish and enforce an ethical code within the industry, recognize and enhance career potential for certified employees, demonstrate employer commitment to doing what is right and increase consumer confidence in the pork industry.
To learn more about Swine Science Online or any educational offerings from USPCE, contact Maggie DenBeste, program coordinator at (515) 294-5231, email@example.com, or visit http://www.usporkcenter.org.
[Back to Archived Features]