Learning About Swine In Ridgetown

Stewart Cressman, chair, Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario; Malcolm Campbell, U of G vice-president (research); Guelph MPP Liz Sandals; John de Bruyn, vice-chair, Ontario Pork; Ken McEwan, Ridgetown Campus director; and Rene Van Acker, dean, Ontario Agricultural College. (Photo courtesy of the Ridgetown Campus)

The University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus 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, offering training and education for agriculture and veterinary technology students and industry producers.

“This educational facility will allow people to get into the barn and actually experience hands-on training, and allow for the learning about day-to-day operations of our most recent production practices,” says Director Ken McEwan.

The $500,000 project is funded mostly by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs through the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario, with Ontario Pork contributing 20% of the budget.

The facility will house up to 150 animals and will be used by about 300 students each year for studying courses such as livestock systems, animal science, pork production and animal health.

“This now will soon be home to one of the most advanced swine learning facilities in Canada,” says McEwan. “This is just an enhancement to existing programs, be they in agriculture or veterinary technology. There’s a wide variety of students who will be able to take advantage of this particular unit.”

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 the National Farm Animal Care Council and standards of the U of G Animal Care Committee.