More than 800 people gathered in St. Paul this past week to learn about the latest Science-Driven solutions for the swine industry at the 2023 Allen D. Leman swine conference. From export markets to PEDV biosecurity, from sustainability through manure management to PRRSV evolution, a wide variety of topics were explored by world-renowned experts in the swine industry.
The pre-conference sessions over the weekend continued to be a crowd favorite. On Saturday, the George Foxcroft Reproduction Workshop planned in collaboration with the University of Alberta focused on sow robustness, from gilt nutrition to lifetime productivity with an in depth review of OCD causes and technologies to improve feet and leg quality.
The Carlos Pijoan Swine Disease Eradication Center session focused on practical ways to manage PED. The audience walked away with very applicable advice to pursue PED elimination from our Canadian colleagues and ideas on how to embark on a voluntary program in the US using US SHIP as the platform. That same day, the Morrison Swine Innovator Prize winner was selected among a group of seven DVM student finalists. Carly Bates from Iowa State University raised to the top with an applicable study on the impact of water acidification on E. coli.
Sunday afternoon, the Beer and Bacon Conversation took place with Dr. Mike Eisenmenger who recently retired and shared lifelong lessons with Dr. Marie Culhane and a sold-out audience. This session was sold out for the fifth year in a row, make sure you get your tickets in advance!
The Opening Reception and Poster session sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim mixed science and socializing as attendees interacted with an all-time record number of poster presenters while enjoying delicious food at the InterContinental hotel.
The 2023 Allen D. Leman conference continued with high quality keynote speakers.
On Monday, the conference was opened by Dr. Laura Molgaard, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine University of Minnesota and Dr. Rosemary Sifford, Chief Veterinary Officer at the USDA APHIS. Dr. Sifford shared the initiatives put in place by the federal government to protect the US swine producers from foreign animal diseases and the investments made at the federal level to ensure the continuity of business.
Our first keynote Randy Spronk, chair-elect of the US Meat Export Federation talked about pork export market opportunities and which countries are favorites for US pork trade. Spronk highlighted the need for having trade agreements in place to further expand exports, a cornerstone of pork market vitality.
Dr. Chris Richards from Apiam Animal Health in Australia shared a new perspective on a decade-old question: Where are the new veterinary graduates? Is it a shortage or do we need to change job offers?
The Zoetis reception on Monday celebrated Dr. Tom Petznik as the Leman Science in Practice awardee for 2023. Dr. Petznik is well renowned among swine veterinarians for his perseverance and his team-based approach, which led to the characterization of Sapovirus as an enteric agent. His efforts while working in his practice in Nebraska exemplify what the recognition is all about: practitioners discovering new information and sharing it with the swine community.
On Tuesday, Dr. Jean-Pierre Vaillancourt, recent recipient of the Carl Block award from Animal Health Canada, delivered the Morrison lectureship and encouraged us to improve biosecurity and compliance at the slat level through Bob’s legacy. Our last keynote was the Carlos Pijoan lectureship, delivered by Dr. Kim VanderWaal from the University of Minnesota swine group, on the rapid evolution of PRRSV and the avenues that can be explored to identify the next devastating strains.
Our wrap-up session was led by Dr. John Deen who was recognized during this conference for his career-long contributions to the swine industry. Upon his upcoming retirement, many celebrated Dr. Deen’s quiet leadership and innovative thinking making an impact all over the world from the US to China.
As always, we would like to thank all of you and our sponsors for the continuing support. The Allen D. Leman swine conference would not exist without you and we hope to see you next year for our 40th anniversary!