As Swine Breeding Specialist Dr. Safranski provides state-wide
leadership for producers, regional extension faculty, veterinarians and other industry support
personnel in the areas of genetics and reproductive management of swine.
Goals and Objectives
To provide Missouri swine farms with the best opportunities for efficient
production by assuring they are able to understand, evaluate and implement new and existing
technologies and management techniques. The model combines campus-based workshops, outstate
presentations and workshops, train-the-trainer programs, on-site consultation and seamless
combination of research and extension.
Intended audience for Extension
The target audience is commercial pork producers and
those that provide technical support, regardless of size or type of production system. Some
components are aimed specifically at decision makers and others at people in the barns, who
may be the same. Efforts are amplified by serving industry support personnel such as
veterinarians, technical representatives of feed or genetic companies etc. Attendance at many
programs includes 40% or more from other states. An example of an area of importance
lacking sufficient local demand to cover the cost of the programmatic effort is management of
boar studs. To meet this need I coordinate the Midwest Boar Stud Managers Conference
(BSMC) every four years. Attendance at the 2004 program included 135 paid registrants from
18 states and five countries.
The Missouri swine industry should be recognized as leading the country in sound application of
genetics and reproductive management tools and techniques. Training and demonstration
research led to increased productivity of early-weaned sows; improved gilt development
programs resulting in better performance and longevity. About 90% of Missouri sows are mated
artificially. Through regular contact with owners and managers of Missouri boar studs I
influence over 80% of boars in Missouri. I further provide leadership for the BSMC, and initiated
and serve as moderator for a boar stud manager’s listserv with 53 global participants actively
involved in management of boars.
Collaborative research has been crucial in evaluating selection
methods to improve litter size, to work toward an efficient, objective semen analysis system, and
increased efficiency of the early weaned sow. An Iowa research paper suggesting that selection
for placental efficiency could increase litter size at over ten times the rate of selection for litter
size directly created excitement among seedstock and commercial producers. More refined
experiments at MU demonstrated the effect would be slow and in the wrong direction. Missouri
is looked to as a leader in the application of genetics programs and reproductive management.
Our sow farms and boar studs have competitive advantages in efficiency of production. Over
three million pigs (50%) are exported from Missouri sow farms for finishing in other states because of our breeding herd advantages.