DES MOINES, Iowa — What happens next?

That’s the question that will be answered by seminars and sessions at the 2015 World Pork Expo.

“To me, the most important activity for pork producers at World Pork Expo is the educational seminars,” said Ron Prestage, National Pork Producers Council president and South Carolina pork producer. “The exchange of ideas and information is invaluable.”

The PORK Academy is a series of seminars sponsored by Pork Checkoff and featuring both National Pork Board experts and swine industry experts speaking on a policy and hot-button political issues affecting the industry and production topics, from farrow to finish.

The shadow of the recent porcine epidemic diarrhea virus outbreak that swept through the U.S. swine herd, causing the loss of millions of baby pigs in 2013 and 2014, still is a major issue.

Coping with any future disease outbreaks will be a common theme of several sessions.

Mark Rice of North Carolina State University will present “Planning for Emergency — Depopulation of Swine in Response to a Foreign Animal Disease Outbreak.”

Rice is an Extension specialist and a member of the animal waste management team.

The session will examine methods for on-farm swine mass-depopulation in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak in the U.S. Planning concepts will be presented for on-farm systems that meet the American Veterinary Medical Association recommendations.

Dr. Paul Thomas of AMVC Veterinary Services and Swine Management Services, a veterinary clinic and swine farm management firm based in Audubon, Iowa, will present an update on PEDV.

Dr. Paul Sundberg of the National Pork Board will present information on the Swine Health Information Center.

“This session will share how we can prepare for future production diseases and how the Swine Health Information Center can help with coordinated federal, state and industry responses,” the WPX event listing reads.

Dermot Hayes of Iowa State University will present an update and outlook on U.S. pork exports.

Harry Snelson of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and Jennifer Koeman of the National Pork Board will present a session that highlights the regulatory changes in antibiotic use in food animals and what it means for farmers.

Pam Zaabel of Iowa State University will speak on “Secure Pork Supply.” The Secure Pork Supply plan or SPS is being developed in conjunction with the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University.

The plan is designed to maintain business continuity in the event of a trade-limiting foreign animal disease. The producer parts of the plan recently were practiced on a pilot basis on farms in Iowa, and Zaable will talk about that pilot project and the plan.

Other seminars deal with industry audits and aspects of sow productivity.

The business seminar allows allied industry partners to present information.

Harrisvaccines, an Iowa-based company that was one of the first companies in the U.S. to receive a U.S. Department of Agriculture conditional license, in June 2014, for a PEDV vaccine, will present “Rapid Responding Vaccines to Emerging Diseases.”

Purina Animal Nutrition will present a panel of speakers in “Challenge Accepted: Conquer Your Mount Everest.”

Dr. Lance Fox, a veterinarian, Steve Stitzlein, chief of operations of Heimerl Farms, and Dr. Dan McManus of Purina Animal Nutrition will talk about goals and plans to conquer challenges like disease outbreaks and volatility in markets.

*Story Credit to: AgriNews and Jeannine Otto