International Conference on Pig Survivability set for Oct. 27-28


The International Conference on Pig Survivability is planned for Oct. 27-28, in Omaha, Nebraska, at the Hilton Omaha. The conference objective is to facilitate the discussion and dissemination of the most current information relative to sow, litter, weaned pig and grow-finish mortality.

“By featuring presentations and panel discussions from industry leaders and scientific experts, we want to bring the industry together to motivate change,” said Joel DeRouchey, K-State swine extension specialist. “We want attendees to walk away with a sense of urgency toward the issue of mortality and some practical ideas of what to do about it.”

Jason Ross, Iowa Pork Industry Center director, said, “The conference will feature speakers from an array of swine-related businesses and organizations that will discuss relevant, take-home messages to impact swine survivability.”

Confirmed speakers and topics to be addressed include:

  • Dr. Lee Schulz, Iowa State University; Economics of swine mortality.
  • Ron Ketchem, Swine Management Services LLC, a MetaFarms Company; Trends of U.S. swine survivability.
  • Dr. Bill Christianson, Genus PIC; Trends of international swine survivability.
  • Cassie Edgar, McKee, Voorhees, and Sease, PLC; Advancing technology — regulatory, advocating, and future.
  • Dr. Gustavo Pizarro, Pipestone Veterinary Services; Industry successes and failures in pre-weaning survivability.
  • Dr. Chris Rademacher, Iowa State University; Industry successes and failures in post-weaning survivability.
  • Dr. Karine Talbot, HyLife; Wean to finish biosecurity – a need for change.
  • Valerie Duttlinger, Summit Smart Farms; The right people for the right job.
  • Dr. Sara Probst Miller, Ag Create Solutions; Effective training: what works and what does not.
  • Dr. Larry Coleman, Vet Care; Do not lose the urgency.
  • Dr. Justin Ransom, senior director, Sustainable Food Strategy at Tyson Foods; Social responsibility of pig survivability.
  • Dr. John Deen, University of Minnesota; Sow mortality: opportunities for measurable impact.
  • Dr. Kara Stewart, Purdue University; Pre-weaning mortality: opportunities for measurable impact.
  • Dr. Deb Murray, New Fashion Pork; Nursery mortality: opportunities for measurable impact.
  • Dr. Jim Pillen, Pillen Family Farms; Finishing mortality: opportunities for measurable impact.
  • Bill Even, National Pork Board; Call to action.
  • Dr. Noel Williams, Iowa Select Farms, and Mike Tokach, Kansas State University; Conference impressions: now, what should we do to capture value in academics and industry.
  • Numerous industry panels for interactive discussions.

To learn more about the conference, visit Registration for the conference is now open. To receive other updates from the Improving Pig Survivability project, please visit and subscribe to project updates at

The International Conference on Pig Survivability is part of the Improving Pig Survivability project. This five-year, interdisciplinary, multi-university project is funded by the National Pork Board and FARR, aimed at reducing mortality in the U.S. swine industry by 1% or more per year of the project. The project is being organized as a collaborative effort by Iowa State University, Kansas State University and Purdue University.