Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
October 22, 1999

Swine center celebration is Oct. 30

by Anne Krapfl
It's been eight years since Congress first allocated money to plan the center. On Oct. 30, Iowa State and federal government officials will dedicate the National Swine Research and Information Center, located west of the National Soil Tilth Lab on Pammel Drive. The dedication begins at 9:30 a.m. in the building's lobby, preceded by breakfast at 8:30 a.m. The university community is invited.

After comments from President Martin Jischke, Agriculture dean David Topel and several elected officials, guests may tour the building. Program representatives will be on hand to talk about the research projects under way in the facility.

Agriculture and biosystems engineering faculty and some animal science graduate students will move to the new building. The USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) also will assign scientists to the location, and the National Pork Producers Council, headquartered in Des Moines, will have a branch office there.

The $9.6 million facility was completed in spring 1998, but sat empty after Congressional budget cuts reduced the U.S. Department of Agriculture's research program. Originally, the USDA had planned to provide some scientists and lease the space from Iowa State.

But last April's agreement between Iowa State and ARS, the main research unit of the USDA, resurrected much of the early plan. The 20-year operating agreement puts the focus back on solutions to hog industry problems such as hog odor, water quality, facility design and animal health. The two partners initially have agreed to look at nutrition and microbiological ways to reduce hog odor, and increase feed efficiency and hog reproduction rates.

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