SWCC students learn from local sow farm

posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 in Central Region News

SWCC class

Southwestern Community College agriculture students enrolled in the breeding and genetics course this semester experienced the swine industry first-hand with two field trips to AMVC’s sow farm, Taurus Sow near Creston. The students got to see the entire cycle of sow production by participating in on-farm activities.

The course began in December before the spring semester started when the students came to the sow farm to artificially inseminate sows with the help of AMVC employees. The focus for the first farm visit was for the students to have a hands-on experience and learn about the proper tools and breeding techniques to successfully breed a sow.

“There’s a lot of work that goes into breeding sows,” commented Darin Hatfield, an agricultural business student from Creston.

Last week, the SWCC class returned to Taurus Sow to see the litters that were born from the sows they previously bred, as a sow’s average gestation length is 114 days.

“This was a great educational opportunity for us to open our barn doors and collaborate with the SWCC agriculture program. It was rewarding to see how excited the students were to come back to the farm and see the sows with their litters,” said Amanda Winslow, AMVC sow farm manager at Taurus Sow.

With the technology on the sow farm, AMVC was able to track the specific animals each student bred with their exact location in the farrowing rooms. Each student located the sows they bred and were able to see the results of their work. During the second farm visit, the students learned about piglet care and how to assist sows giving birth.

“I thought this was a great experience because we got to see the breeding and farrowing departments, as well as, how a sow farm is run,” commented Whitney Bayles, an agricultural business and livestock production student from Prescott.

AMVC is proud to be a community supporter of the SWCC agriculture program. This is the second year that AMVC has hosted a SWCC class at their farm to help compliment the students’ coursework.

AMVC Management Services is headquartered in Audubon, Iowa, and manages 115,000 sows across seven states.


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