The over 14,000 Manitobans who make their living in the hog sector share a set of values focused on animal care that guides their work every day. This keen focus on keeping pigs healthy and cared for has made our province’s hog sector a respected world leader in producing safe, high-quality protein.
Each day, hog farmers live up to the progressive 105 Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs requirements, and animal care is assessed stringently as part of federally recognized assurance programs. Farmers, veterinarians, herdspersons, swine technicians, swine nutritionists, livestock transporters, and barn managers are just some of the people who play a vital role in keeping pigs safe and healthy. Over 2,500 people across the province are employed on-farm as swine technicians and managers alone. These highly skilled employees ensure pigs receive individualized care each day.
Training programs help provide workers with a strong background in key animal care principles. Workers learn knowledge, skills, resources, and workplace values that help reinforce the empathy and high standards of animal care the sector expects.
An example of the sector’s commitment to training is the new Swine Production Foundations program at Assiniboine Community College, developed in collaboration with Manitoba Pork and other sector experts. The program gives students a strong understanding of what it takes to help feed the world while enjoying high job security. Students can complete this self-directed online program entirely at their own pace, with a high level of interactivity and self-assessment.
“The college is proud to collaborate with Manitoba Pork and our industry partners to develop a program to meet the needs of modern animal care standards and address workforce needs,” said Tim Hore, Dean of the Russ Edwards School of Agriculture & Environment at Assiniboine Community College. “The program will train the next generation of hog farmers and swine technicians to uphold the strong animal care standards the hog sector is responsible for.”
The Swine Production Foundations program provides students with customized training on swine operations, production, and professionalism, focusing on key areas like regulations, health and safety, record-keeping, barn maintenance and systems, and best practices related to pig health, care, and stockmanship. Program applications are open, with the first cohort starting in early December 2022. The College is developing two additional programs to advance knowledge and leadership skills for swine technicians, anticipated to launch in 2023.
Manitoba Pork, the organization that represents farmers who raise over eight million pigs in the province each year, and others in the industry also help fund new cutting-edge programming and research at some of Canada’s leading academic institutions like the Prairie Swine Centre in Saskatoon and the University of Manitoba. This support helps to ensure the entire hog sector continues to lead with the best possible care for animals. Since 1999, Manitoba’s hog farmers have contributed over $10 million on independent swine-related research.
No matter the day of the week or month of the year, Manitoba’s hog farmers remain committed to caring for their animals. Around the world, Manitoba pork is respected as being among the highest-quality protein, and that’s only because of the dedication farmers and those working in the hog sector put in to raising healthy pigs who are well cared for and nurtured as they grow.
To learn more, visit manitobapork.com/animalcare