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Animal Science Faculty

Eric Antoniou

Tim Safranski

Associate Professor

Extension - State Swine Breeding Specialist

S133 Animal Science Research Center
Division Of Animal Sciences
Columbia, MO 65211

General Extension Focus

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.

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