Genetic Improvement is Key for Pork Production; Can Animal Agriculture Save the World?

Jun 27, 2023

Pork producers everywhere understand pressures in today's business world, from a smaller labor force to pork product affordability for consumers to reducing greenhouse gas footprint of production. And yet, simply wanting to do the right thing at the right time isn’t always possible. The 2023 Iowa Swine Day plenary speaker Banks Baker will share his experience and expertise with a genetics-based approach to continued improvement in animal agriculture.

As Global Director of Product Sustainability for PIC, Baker understands the importance of how genetic improvements, including those achieved through gene editing, help address pressures being placed on the food system while delivering holistic benefits across the value chain.

His presentation “Genetic improvements in a sustainable food system” will describe the impact of this technology on more efficient pork production and improving animal welfare. His PIC role has built upon previous work for McDonald’s USA creating and implementing greenhouse gas reduction strategies and managing animal health, welfare, and antibiotic policies.

Plenary speaker Jack Bobo brings a different perspective on the future of food. As a futurist, he looks to the past to set the stage for what comes next. At Iowa Swine Day, he’ll offer his thoughts on how a growing population and changing demographics effect consumer demand for sustainable food products.

As Director of Global Food and Water Policy at the Nature Conservancy, Bobo’s career includes a variety of food, biotechnology and policy positions. He authored the 2021 book “Why smart people make bad food choices” and in his presentation he’ll examine trends and attitudes driving consumer behavior, and explain what organizations can do to stay in front of these ever-changing forces. Bring your curiosity as he presents “Can animal agriculture save the planet?”

The 2023 Iowa Swine Day program, set for Thursday, June 29,  will be held at the Scheman Building on the Iowa State University campus in Ames. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the official program starts at 8:30. Registration cost is $65, and students may attend at no charge with the registration deadline of midnight, June 22. No walk-in registrations are accepted. 

There are four plenary speakers in the morning and following lunch, the afternoon is organized into four concurrent sessions: sustainable pork production, production strategies for foreign animal disease and health, the future of pig farming, and Iowa State University research. Each session has four presentations, and attendees are welcome to choose from among any of the sessions and presentations.

A new preconference ISU Swine Networking Social sponsored by TechMix, AB Vista and Lynch Livestock will be held Wed., June 28, at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center, 2508 Mortensen Rd in Ames, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. All attendees registered for Iowa Swine Day are welcome to join.This replaces the post-program barbeque held in previous years.

The full program, information, registration forms and information and directions to the venue are available on the Iowa Swine Day conference website.

Iowa Swine Day is hosted by the Iowa Pork Industry Center with support provided by the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

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