October 16, 2003

 

 

New US$1 Million Pork Industry Interpretive Centre Launched Near Saskatoon, Canada

 

The Prairie Swine Centre has officially opens a new one million-dollar Pork Industry Interpretive Centre yesterday near Saskatoon in Canada.

The Pork Industry Interpretive Centre is a biosecure educational facility built in the attic space of the Prairie Swine Centre's Elstow, Saskatchewan research barn.

Information Services Manager Lee Whittington says, while the pigs are the main attraction, the facility features a full wealth of educational materials.

"We have a number of signs that have been produced professionally to help people understand what exactly is happening in those rooms so they get a good appreciation for what modern pork production is all about.

Then we have space between those windows in interactive displays. These are displays that you might find at any other interpretive centre or perhaps a museum where you can get a piece of information generated from an interactive display."

He added that the centre has one provision that is all about the poop cycle. Visitors can learn about the recycling of nutrients on a hog farm through the cycling of the nitrogen...where the nitrogen, or the feed, that goes into the pig ends up in the manure tank which then ends up on the crop and after which, back in the feed-to-feed pigs in the future.

That's an example of an interactive display where the visitor actually turns a crank and makes the nitrogen cycle go round while at the same time learning about the fact that pork producers and all farmers are really some of the original recyclers.

Whittington says the educational materials are designed to interest grades 6-10, the target considered most appropriate to ensure the broadest appeal.

However, he says, the information will be of particular interest to municipal officials, provincial regulators and others involved in regulating or administering intensive livestock production.