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Serving: IL

Quick Take: Swine health improvement plan, ASA young leaders and more

Holly Spangler hog up close
SWINE FARM HEALTH: Illinois hog producers can now enroll in the U.S. Swine Health Improvement Plan, a pilot program aimed to protect and improve swine health across hog farms, supply chains, states and regions.
U.S. Swine Health Improvement Plan, ASA Young Leaders recognition, virtual pig barn tour, Prairie Farms cheese awards, and U of I FarmHouse scholarships

Register for U.S. Swine Health Improvement Plan

The U.S. Swine Health Improvement Plan is a USDA Veterinary Services-sponsored pilot project designed to certify and improve animal health. And now, Illinois hog producers can enroll in the program.

The design of U.S. SHIP is like the National Poultry Improvement Plan, which involves industry, state and federal partners to certify health in more than 99% of U.S. commercial poultry and egg operations.

U.S. SHIP also involves support from state and industry partners but aims to improve and protect swine health across participating operations, supply chains, states and regions.

Another initial goal of U.S. SHIP is to create and execute African swine fever-classical swine fever monitored certification of U.S. pork farm sites and slaughter facilities. This certification is similar to NPIP’s H5/H7 avian influenza monitored certification and focuses on disease prevention.

To enroll or ask questions, email the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare.


Matt and Liz Hulsizer recognized as ASA young leaders

Matt and Liz Hulsizer, Galesburg, Ill., farmers, were recognized as participants in the American Soybean Association Young Leaders program at Commodity Classic.

The Young Leaders program, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience, is designed to provide experiences for individuals and couples interested in agricultural leadership while also creating a peer network to help their operations succeed.

“The knowledge gained, not only about farming practices but also about us as young leaders and other state leaders a part of the program, was transformational,” Matt says.

After the loss of both of their fathers, Matt and his brother-in-law Andrew Bowman created a farming partnership consisting of soybean, corn and popcorn production in Knox County, Ill. They strive to implement new practices such as strip till, cover crops, soil sampling and tissue tests.

Liz works as a grain originator for ADM. Still, she keeps her hands in the farm: managing the books, paying bills, and operating the combine, tractors and field cultivator.

Courtesy of Aly Carroll PhotographyMatt and Liz Hulsizer, Galesburg farmers

YOUNG FARMER LEADERS: Matt and Liz Hulsizer, Galesburg, Ill., farmers, were recognized for their participation in the American Soybean Association Young Leaders program at Commodity Classic.


Bring pig barn tour to classroom

Looking for a change of lesson plans for your elementary students? Check out this Illinois Pork Producers Association and LEAP Foundation virtual pig barn farm tour opportunity!

Here’s the scoop:

  • free, online 45-minute tours designed for early elementary students
  • tours available March 28 at 10 a.m. and March 29 at 1 p.m.
  • registration includes pre-tour and post-tour lesson plan materials
  • materials mailed upon registration
  • register until the day before each tour

For more information and to register, visit the IPPA website.


Prairie Farms wins world cheese contest

In March, three Prairie Farms Dairy facilities received honors at the World Championship Cheese Contest. The contest is the largest global technical dairy competition with contestants from 29 nations.

So how exactly did Prairie Farms Dairy’s products compare to competitors? Here’s a look:

  • Best of class cottage cheese: 4% small curd cottage cheese, Quincy, Ill.
  • 3rd place cottage cheese: 2% small curd cottage cheese, Quincy, Ill.
  • 4th place flavored yogurt, cow’s milk: whole milk peach yogurt, Quincy, Ill.
  • 3rd place blue veined cheeses with exterior molding: Felix blue cheese, Faribault, Minn.
  • 3rd place baby Swiss style: baby Swiss wheel, Shullsburg, Wis.

“All Prairie Farms’ products start the same way — with high-quality milk and cream from our local farm families,” says Matt McClelland, CEO of Prairie Farms. “From there, our cheesemakers craft the finest cheese available, and the prestigious World Championship Cheese awards represents a culmination of the collective efforts of our farmers and team members at the cheese facilities.”


Apply for U of I FarmHouse scholarships

The University of Illinois chapter of FarmHouse Fraternity has opened scholarships for male students who will begin their college education at U of I this fall.

The FarmHouse Fraternity is able to award over $15,000 in scholarships each year through this program. Scholarships range from $500 to $5,000.

Do you know someone who should apply? Here are the details:

  • Applicant must be a male student who will attend U of I for the first time in fall of 2022.
  • First-time students are current high school seniors who will begin their freshman year or students who will transfer to U of I.
  • Male students in any major can apply.
  • Applicants do not have to be FarmHouse Fraternity members.
  • The application process requires students to submit a written application before April 8. Finalists will then be selected based on application and invited to participate in an interview.

For more details and to apply, visit the U of I FarmHouse Fraternity website.

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