Firkins and Meyer to speak at 2018 Michigan Pork Symposium


Michigan Pork Producers Association will host the annual Michigan Pork Symposium. The conference will be held at The Lansing Center in Lansing, Mich.

This all-day event will focus on educating producers about good production practices and excellent business management approaches to help them provide a growing human population an environmentally-safe, socially-acceptable, low-cost source of meat.

The 2018 Michigan Pork Symposium will bring pig farmers and industry representatives from around the state together to share information about the ever-changing industry. This year’s symposium brings together speakers from both the academic and business worlds in order to better prepare producers for the challenges they face in their quest to produce the world’s food supply.

Dr. Larry Firkins, a Professor and the Associate Dean for Public Engagement at the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine, will be speaking about getting work done through others. He will also present a breakout session about transitioning employees to team members.

Dr. Firkins obtained his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois in 1986 followed by a Master of Science degree in Epidemiology in 1996. He completed his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Illinois in 2001.

During his time at the University of Illinois, Dr. Firkins has focused his teaching efforts on the integration of practical business skills into the veterinary curriculum. Earlier this year, he was named to the List of Teachers Ranked Excellent by Their Students for the 59th time. Dr. Firkins has given over 140 international presentations in 15 countries and over 500 presentations throughout the US.

Dr. Steve Meyer, Vice-President of Pork Analysis at EMI Analytics, will also be speaking at the conference with updates on the pork industry.

Dr. Meyer is a widely-recognized expert on the U.S. pork industry and the economic relationships which shape it. Dr. Meyer has held positions in industry, academia, trade organizations and, most recently, market analytics. His breadth of knowledge and experience in the pork industry is unique. He joined EMI Analytics in May 2015 upon the sale of his former business, Paragon Economics, Inc. to EMI. As Vice-President, Pork Analysis for EMI, Dr. Meyer’s duties include ongoing analysis of hog and pork markets and assisting EMI Analytics clients in using his insights to successfully manage their businesses.

Dr. Meyer is a frequent guest speaker for many pork and livestock-related companies and organizations. He is well known as founder and author of The Daily Livestock Report from the report’s inception in 2003 until his recent move to EMI. Prior to founding Paragon Economics, he served as Director of Economics for the National Pork Producers Council and National Pork Board from 1993 to 2002.  Dr. Meyer has served as the consulting economist to both the Board and the Council since then. Steve is a native of Oklahoma and obtained both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agriculture economics from Oklahoma State University before completing a doctoral degree in that field from Iowa State University in 1987. Steve and his wife, Carolyn, live near Stillwater, Oklahoma and are the parents of three adult children.

Along with Dr. Firkins and Dr. Meyer speaking, the conference will have two tracks for attendees, focusing on both sow production and growing/finishing operations.

The sow production track will feature topics such as fixed-time insemination, employee management, day-one pig care, sow housing and selection, sow longevity, farrowing, breeding and caring for the gilt through her first litter.

Growing and finishing topics include ventilation, economics of manure, packer audits, pig start-up/successful transition, barn cleaning and maintenance and managing the unexpected outbreak.

The day will finish with a sponsor reception, giving participants the opportunity to visit with the sponsors and presenters. The event costs $60 for one registration, $25 for a second registration and $15 for a third registration. For more information and registration, visit or contact MPPA at or 517-853-3782.



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