Pre-Conference Sessions

Saturday, September 18 and Sunday, September 19 at the RiverCentre in St Paul.

Link to Registration for the Conference

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University of Alberta-University of Minnesota Reproduction Workshop: Back to the basics: Improved reproductive management of the breeding herd

Investment in good gilt development programs from birth is a critical component of breeding herd management and the pivotal starting point for the future fertility and longevity of the breeding herd and the efficiency of the pork production industry. In this session we will go ‘back to the basics’ and review the latest research on gilt development and the management of young sows during lactation to optimize future performance.  Experts from industry will share their perspective and experience in implementing successful gilt management programs.



Jennifer Patterson, University of Alberta


Individual gilt birth weight, litter birth weight phenotype and effective gilt development programs

Jennifer Patterson, University of Alberta


Gilt puberty, subsequent fertility, and incidence of silent heat in response to boar exposure and hormone induction.

Rob Knox, University of Illinois


Refreshment Break



Industry Perspective: Challenges with implementing proper gilt management strategies and using research to guide decisions

Ashley DeDecker, Smithfield Foods



Industry Perspective: Challenges in implementing gilt management programs, using records to measure and manage performance  

Ross Mencke and Dave Wade, Hanor   


Body condition loss of young sows during lactation: consequences for post-weaning reproductive processes and performance

Nicoline Soede, Wageningen University



Closing Remarks

Jennifer Patterson, University of Alberta

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Geeks to Geeks: Untangling transport data with network analysis
A workshop co-hosted by the University of Minnesota Swine Group and the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety (OIE collaborating center for capacity building)

Picture of a laptop

Participants should bring a laptop to participate in in-class activities.

A typical swine production system in the United States consists of a tangled web of connections amongst farms, with between-farm contact facilitated by movement of animals, trucks, feed, personnel, etc.  These highly inter-connected networks make the industry vulnerable to pathogen spread, but also create opportunities for strategic interventions that target potential super-spreaders and fragment infection chains in the network. This pre-conference workshop will focus on approaches for the analysis of transport data, including the movement of animals and trucks between farms. Activities will be comprised of presentations and discussions on optimal control strategies for pathogens that spread through transport networks, hands-on exercises on data preparation and network analysis, and recent research advances utilizing these approaches. Participants are expected to leave this workshop with an understanding of how to make sense of transport data, how to apply network concepts and approaches to refine outbreak investigations and risk response measures, and have the building blocks to conduct network analysis with their own data with user-friendly software.


Applications of network analysis to animal movement data

Kim VanderWaal, University of Minnesota


Going with the flow: Getting started with network analysis

Dennis Makau, University of Minnesota


Individual learning activity: Network visualization

Online tutorial
(bring laptop)





Rolling in the Midwest: Understanding vehicles movement patterns within a swine system 

Catalina Picasso-Risso, University of Minnesota


Individual learning activity: Network modeling

Online tutorial
(bring laptop)


Modeling African swine fever spread in networks and effectiveness of control strategies

Gustavo Machado, North Carolina State University


Integrating genetic and animal movement data to re-construct transmission networks 

Nakarin Pamornchainavakul, University of Minnesota


General Q/A and Concluding remarks




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Research highlights

Maria Pieters and Maxim Cheeran, University of Minnesota, Chairs

3:00 - Assessment of the relationship between breeding herd PRRSV occurrence and manure pumping events in the U.S.  Carles Vilalta, Upnorth Analytics

3:13 - A double intervention to stabilize porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome - PRRS in a one site farm with continuous flow  Mishelle Moral, Trouw Nutrition Latam

3:26 - Feed mill and swine production site investigations after several outbreaks of porcine deltacoronavirus  C. Grace Elijah, Kansas State University

3:39 - Evaluating the use of geofencing to characterize networks of swine facilities within production systems under field conditions  Nicholas Black, The Ohio State University

3:52 - Heterologous prime-boost vaccination expands cell-mediated immunity targets for influenza Lucina Galina, Zoetis

4:05 - Prescription platform vaccines: Next-Generation technology combats emerging diseases  Mike Roof, Iowa State University

4:18 - Rethinking the uncertainty of African swine fever virus contamination in feed ingredients and risk of introduction into the United States  Rachel Schambow, University of Minnesota

4:31 - Antiviral effects of glycerol monolaurate on wild-type African swine fever virus in primary swine cells  Charles Elrod, Natural Biologics, Inc./Cornell University

4:44 - Antiviral effects of kaempferol on African swine fever virus infection  Charles Elrod, Natural Biologics, Inc./Cornell University

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Beer and Bacon Conversation

Dr. Davies and Dr. Wagstrom Headshots

Dr. Peter Davies and Dr. Liz Wagstrom will discuss their views on pigs, the industry, and life as swine veterinarians.

This session will take place at the InterContinental Hotel in Kellogg I and will begin at 5:15 p.m.