Euthanasia of hogs, packing plant problems, selling to local consumers, and other challenges being faced by pork industry producers and processors, has been all over the news. Extension is providing a venue for producers across the country to discuss their challenges and possible solutions with each other and experts in a free online session Tuesday, May 19, 10-11:30 a.m. PST. Organizers hope to help lead discussion on possible alternatives and opportunities. Organizers hope to help lead discussion on possible alternatives and opportunities, including exploring the possibility to distribute hogs to interested persons for personal consumption. Speakers/panelists include:
- Dinah Peebles is director of the Certifications Program for the National Pork Board. The certification programs address pork quality and transport quality. In addition, there are certification programs for youth that help ensure they know how to properly raise quality pork and other animals, and ensure food safety. Peebles formerly was a 4-H Extension agent for Colorado State University and an agriculture business Extension agent for Missouri State University. She grew up in western Colorado on a cow/calf and hay operation.
- Wanda Patsche is a farmer from southern Minnesota. She and her husband, Chuck, have farmed for over 40 years, growing corn and soybeans, and raising hogs. Patsche is involved in a number of agricultural organizations, including the Minnesota Pork Board, CommonGround, Farm Bureau, Operation Mainstreet and Minnesota Ag in the Classroom. She is a strong advocate for agriculture, with a passion for helping to bridge the disconnect between consumers and agriculture.
- Lindsay Chichester is Extension educator in Douglas County, Nevada for University of Nevada, Reno Extension. She is presenting and moderating this session, as part of an online series she has put together for producers, “Agriculture: Living Beyond a Pandemic.” Known as “Dr. Lindsay” to many in the country’s agriculture industry and on social media, Chichester understands the ups and downs of farming and ranch life, growing up on a cattle and sheep ranch in northern California, and going on to earn a master’s degree in animal science and a doctorate in agricultural sciences.
Chichester said this is truly a baffling and stressful time for many of the nation’s agricultural producers.
“There are so many unknowns right now, our farmers and ranchers are struggling to navigate a market where the supply chains have been disrupted and to understand how our current events may impact their future viability,” she said. “We’re providing this online series to bring in boots-on-the-ground, grass-roots speakers who are involved in their respective industries to offer some insight and support.”
In addition, Kenneth Coll, former dean of the College of Education and former acting dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Nevada, Reno, will be on hand to offer guidance and resources for participants who may be experiencing mental health or substance abuse issues brought on or worsened by the stress of the pandemic. Coll’s career and research have focused on educational psychology and counseling.
The sessions are offered online via Facebook Live. Chichester opens each session with a brief introduction about the session’s topic, followed by brief presentations by the speakers. Then, the majority of each session is driven by questions from participants. The session following the May 19 session on the pork industry will be on May 26, and will be on “Dairy: milk dumping and National Dairy Month.” The Facebook Live link for the May 19 session and details on future "Agriculture: Living Beyond a Pandemic" sessions will be posted on the series website. For more information, email Chichester or call 775-782-9960 (leave a message and she will call you back).