UWP Pioneer Farm opens new Swine Center
PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneer Farm has been undergoing many noteworthy changes in the last several years. Last October the $1.6 million Agriculture Technology Center opened. Now the new Swine Center is ready for operation and an open house will be held on Thursday, Jan. 15.
Tours of the new Swine Center will run from 1 until 3:30 p.m. beginning at the Agriculture Technology Center every half hour. Visitors will be able to walk through the facility although they will not be able to see the swine in their new home, as they are expected to arrive after Jan. 15.
Pioneer Farm had been looking for a way to modernize the 35-year-old swine building. Funds had been sought for the past eight years. "The project became a reality when the board of directors of the UW-Platteville Foundation voted to secure a $1.4 million loan to fund the swine center building project. The UWPF partnered with area financial institutions Clare Bank, First National Bank, Anchor Bank and Mound City Bank for the financing. This is a very progressive venture," said Dennis Cooley, interim director of the UWP Foundation.
Alicia Prill-Adams, assistant director of Pioneer Farm, and several students participated in a study tour to Ohio sponsored by the Wisconsin Pork Producers Association. While in Ohio Prill-Adams and the students toured a high-rise swine facility. Members of the Pioneer Farm worked diligently with the Wisconsin Agriculture Stewardship Initiative (WASI) to help make this unusual example a reality at UWP.
"Not many high-rise composting swine facilities exist in the country. There is one in Ohio and Indiana. The one at Pioneer Farm will be the first in Wisconsin. This facility will also be the first of its kind to be directly affiliated with a university," Prill-Adams said.
The 16,000 square foot high-rise Pioneer Swine Center will hold a 60-sow herd which will be group penned, have 1,400 swine wean to finish each year, and feature artificial insemination and manure composting.
The complex also includes a walk-in demonstration area, as well as views into various production rooms to show firsthand the facility design. The technology and management practices evident in the high-rise swine facility design work to solve key issues in the industry.