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HISTORY

On March 6, 1974 twenty-five individuals representing test station managers, supervisors, and extension swine personnel met in Des Moines, Iowa. This group organized the National Association of Swine Testing Stations, which had as its objective the standardization of test station programs. Approximately one year later, on March 13, 1975, this organization met in Kansas City, Missouri and was reorganized as the National Swine Improvement Federation. Both membership in and objectives of this new Federation were expanded following this reorganization. The National Swine Improvement Federation is now recognized nationally and internationally as one of the leading bodies in developing and applying scientifically-based programs for the genetic improvement of swine.

ACTIVITIES

Annual Conference

The Federation has an annual two-day conference that attracts leading swine breeders, industry and university geneticists, and prominent international figures in swine breeding. Papers presented during these conferences address both theory and practice of swine improvement. Workshops, panel discussions and concurrent sessions are used to maximize the information transfer and general value for everyone attending the conference. A special symposium, called "breeders roundtable" is also held the first day of the conference. The roster of speakers at the conferences and roundtable discussions have included commercial swine producers, seedstock and purebred breeders, and university and industry leaders from the United States, Canada and abroad.

Publications

The Federation produces key publications to advance its objectives. Perhaps its leading publication is GUIDELINES FOR UNIFORM SWINE IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMS, which was first released in 1976. The GUIDELINES was revised in 1987 and again in 1996. The current edition is the most comprehensive reference source available on all facets of applied swine performance testing.

Another publication is the PROCEEDINGS OF THE ANNUAL CONFERENCE. These proceedings are an invaluable reference into the "research and development" involved in producing effective swine selection programs. The office of the Secretary-Treasurer maintains a library of these proceedings dating back to 1977.

A SWINE GENETICS HANDBOOK is also published. This handbook is composed of fact sheets that are concise explanations of basic concepts in swine improvement. Topics range from economic impact of genetic improvement through inbreeding, multiple trait selection and crossbreeding systems. Currently the handbook contains seventeen fact sheets.

ULTRASONIC CERTIFICATION

Ultrasonic measurement is a viable method to estimate backfat thickness and loin muscle area in the live pig. However, accuracy of ultrasonic estimates are technician dependent. The Federation has implemented programs to standardize ultrasonic measurement for these traits. These programs consist of a workshop and training session, a scanning practicum for participants and a written exam. Participants are evaluated for their ability to predict carcass data, repeatability of their measurements and bias of live measurements as compared to carcass data. Those participants who meet minimum standards of accuracy become National Swine Improvement Federation certified ultrasound technicians.

GOVERNING BOARD

The Federation is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the members at the annual meeting. This Board is composed of 17 voting members representing the following:

       Organization                 Directors
Swine Breed Associations                4
National Pork Producers Council         2
Central Test Stations                   1
Artificial Insemination Companies       2
Testing Organizations                   1
Breeding Companies                      3
At Large                                5

In addition, there are six Ex-Officio members and the Executive offices of President, Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer and Editor.

MEMBERSHIP

Regular (voting) members of this Federation include any individual or organization that is actively producing performance tested seedstock, conducting performance testing programs, marketing performance tested animals, or marketing semen from performance tested swine.

Associate (non-voting) members include individuals or organizations who are associated with, make use of, or benefit from swine genetic performance testing programs.

Annual dues for both regular and associate membership in the Federation are $100.

Your membership in the National Swine Improvement Federation will contribute significantly to the genetic improvement of swine.


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