Swine Science Online: Resource for current, future pork professionals

Dorothy S. Bass


For a dozen years, Iowa State University has been involved with Swine Science Online, a program offering education and training for future pork industry professionals. Billed as the first-ever undergraduate program of its kind when it began in 2010, it connects students and instructors throughout the United States through distance education.

The program is administered by the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence and currently hosted by these four participating universities: Iowa State University, North Carolina State University, South Dakota State University and University of Missouri. Purdue University and Kansas State University also were involved in the initial collaboration to develop the program. The online delivery system serves as an educational and training resource for current and future pork professionals while allowing them to work full time and take courses when it is convenient for them.

Swine Science Online is based on the idea of offering an opportunity to facilitate research and learning through nationwide collaboration with leading faculty from top universities. It continues to meet the needs of current undergraduates and experienced farmers looking for specialized training.

Laura Greiner, assistant professor in animal science, instructs two courses: Basic Swine Science, and Swine Nursery and Finishing Management. She says Iowa State is important to the success of the program.

“Iowa State should be involved,” Greiner says. “Iowa is where the pigs are, so it only makes sense for Iowa State University to be a leading contributor.”

Traditional and non-traditional students are welcome to participate. The courses can be applied to an undergraduate degree, industry certificate or professional development, whatever fits the student need. The primary intent of the program is to help provide more academically trained individuals entering the swine industry.

“My biggest advice for someone enrolling in the program is to get involved,” Greiner says. “Fully submerse yourself by building a relationship with the professors and industry professionals you meet. Take the initiative and make the most of it. You are working with industry’s best professionals across all sectors of the swine industry, so use that to your advantage.”

Enrollment in Swine Science Online must be done through one of the four institutions, and the cost for the 2022-2023 year is $240 per credit hour. Students must complete six required credits and six elective credits to be eligible for the swine science certificate. There is no estimated length of the program as it is 100% self-driven. More information on class titles, instructors, schedules, enrollment and requirements is on the Swine Science Online Certificate page of the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences online learning website.

These Iowa State faculty members also teach classes in the program: Dan Andersen, Swine Manure and Nutrient Management; Jay Harmon, Swine Environment Management; Locke Karriker, Swine Health and Biosecurity; and Jodi Sterle, Contemporary Issues in the Swine Industry.

The U.S. Pork Center of Excellence website has more information about the program.

Source: Iowa Pork Industry Center, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.


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