Audio: Pork Producer Discusses On-Farm Biosecurity at U.S.-China Swine Industry Symposium in Beijing

Click to play audio file

Amid continued outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) in China and Europe, U.S., Chinese and European pork industry leaders and experts gathered in Beijing earlier this month for the seventh edition of the U.S.-China Swine Industry Symposium. The annual symposium was launched in 2012 and is co-organized by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), the U.S. Grains Council and the U.S. Soybean Export Council. Participating organizations from China include the China Animal Agriculture Association, the China Meat Association and the China Chamber of Commerce for the Import/Export of Native Produce and Agricultural Products.

Symposium speakers shared experiences in animal disease control on the farm and at the national level with more than 150 industry representatives. U.S. speakers included Randy Spronk, a pork producer from Edgerton, Minnesota, who serves on the USMEF Executive Committee. Spronk explained the biosecurity measures used at Spronk Brothers III LLP, the farrow-to-finish operation in which he is the managing partner.

Spronk notes that Antonio Tavares, a pork producer from Portugal, also presented at the symposium, recounting how ASF was combatted on the Iberian Peninsula in the 1980s and 1990s. Spronk sees great value in sharing this type of information, which can benefit pork producers across the globe.

Additional information on the symposium is also available on the USMEF website.

# # #


Joe Schuele: Minnesota pork producer Randy Spronk, a member of the USMEF executive committee, recently spoke at the 7th Annual U.S.-China Swine Industry Symposium which focused largely on African Swine Fever. He has more details on the event in this USMEF report:

Randy Spronk: In a presentation on really basic biosecurity the experience that we’ve had in the United States starting back in the eighties through PRRS and PED and how our basic on farm biosecurity has changed to be able to stop viral movement because of trucks moving or personnel moving the processes, the procedures that we actually utilize to be able to stop disease. There are some things I do as an owner to make things inherently bio secure in other words it’s investment in capital it’s how you design the barns it’s how you’ve laid out your facility and how you’re actually managing your farm. Also an investment in trailers that can be washed and cleaned. At Spronk Brothers we have sets of trailers. One is only for the south farm; another one is internal for feeder pigs; and obviously another is butcher hogs. They are not washed in the same wash bay. They’re separated so sometimes by overarching design you can prevent disease and I think there are some things in China they need to be able to change you know there was an effort within China to actually move the production from back yards to modern swine facilities. That was before ASF because of ASF now there’s actually a move to place the pigs in the slaughter houses. They’ve had some imbalance where pigs are raised at the slaughter houses first of all. I think they’re attempting to correct that.

Joe Schuele: Spronk feels that information shared at the symposium can benefit the pork industry worldwide:

Randy Spronk:Really interesting presentations from Europe where they’ve had the experience with ASF four years ago. Talking with the producer from Portugal, that had firsthand experience and it was good to have him make commentary on the biosecurity that we’ve utilized. Very important that from the EU to ASIA to the United States to North America that we actually share information when you have a disease such as ASF which is so devastating.

Joe Schuele: For more information, please visit For the U.S. Meat Export Federation, I’m Joe Schuele.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation ( is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry. It is funded by USDA; the beef, pork, lamb, corn and soybean checkoff programs, as well as its members representing nine industry sectors: beef/veal producing & feeding, pork producing & feeding, lamb producing & feeding, packing & processing, purveying & trading, oilseeds producing, feedgrains producing, farm organizations and supply & service organizations.