The Ridgetown Campus of the University of Guelph in Ontario will soon be home to one of the most advanced swine learning facilities in Canada.
The 6,600 sq. ft. Swine Education Centre will open this fall at Ridgetown, Ont., offering training and education for agriculture and veterinary technology students and industry producers.
The $500,000 project is funded mostly by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs through the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario, with Ontario Pork contributing 20% of the budget.
“It will feature state-of-the-art technology with a precision sow feeding system and a high-tech data recording system,” Ridgetown Campus director Ken McEwan said. “Each semester, agriculture diploma students will have a significant number of experiential learning opportunities in the new facility, learning about the day-to-day operations and most recent production practices.”
The facility will house up to 150 animals. It will be used by about 300 students each year for studying courses such as livestock systems, animal science, pork production and animal health. The center will accommodate up to 30 learners at a time in a biosecure viewing area.
“We are grateful to our partners in government and at Ontario Pork for their exceptional contributions to this important project,” Malcolm Campbell, vice president (research), said at the launch event. “This center will help students learn the most recent innovations in pork production and animal welfare while providing insights and expertise to innovative and hard-working farmers and pork producers.”
The facility will also offer education on leading swine production practices for the general public.
The new facility has been constructed to meet codes set by Canada's National Farm Animal Care Council and standards of the University of Guelph Animal Care Committee.