MU Boar Stud Management Conference Set For Aug. 3-4 In St. Louis

   The fifth Boar Stud Managers Conference (BSMC) will be held Aug. 3-4 in St. Louis. In the 1990s, producers quickly embraced artificial insemination (AI) of hogs, but most of the training offered focused on sows and gilts.
   “We found that as AI became popular, more semen came out of studs,” says Tim Safranski, University of Missouri Extension state swine specialist. “These studs were basically boar farms, so all the folks did was manage boars and there was really no training for them.”
   The first BSMC was held in 2000 through collaboration of MU, Purdue University and the University of Nebraska. Because there is very little turnover in boar studs compared to sow farms, organizers decided to hold the conference every four years, Safranski said. BSMC draws attendees from 18 states and four or five countries. Managers attending the conference represent about 80 percent of the nation’s boars.
   Speakers from academia and industry will address a variety of topics, including health management, semen management, nonantibiotic semen extender options and water quality. There will be a session on sexed semen, a technology that has been embraced by the cattle industry. The session will look at where the technology is today and if it is going to be available to the swine industry.
Safranski says anyone who wants to learn about boars or boar semen would benefit from the Boar Stud Managers Conference.
   “Our target audience is the stud manager,” Safranski says. “That ranges from the folks who have four or five boars on the farm and do their own collection and processing to those who manage a stud farm.”
   The fee for the two-day conference is $200. One of the goals of the organizers, Safranski said, is to keep registration costs from being prohibitive to those wanting to attend.
   “Realistically, this is the only management training offered for boar stud managers, and it’s only once every four years,” Safranski says. ∆
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