News Service


Carol Bradley, President's Office, (515) 294-1385
David Topel, Agriculture, (515) 294-2518
John McCarroll, University Relations, (515) 294-6137


AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have agreed to jointly operate the $9.6 million National Swine Research and Information Center.

The 20-year agreement insures that the new facility, located on the ISU campus, will be used for its original purpose -- research on pork industry issues. The university signed a memorandum of understanding with ARS on April 27.

"The National Swine Research and Information Center is enormously important to Iowa and all pork producing states," said ISU President Martin Jischke. "We are extremely pleased with this agreement, and we appreciate the efforts of ARS and pork industry organizations in developing a plan for this new center."

ISU and ARS will mutually decide specific activities at the center, according to the agreement. Initial research work at the center will focus on developing nutritional and microbiological approaches to reducing hog odor while also increasing feed efficiency, hog reproduction and growth.

"The research to be done at the National Swine Research and Information Center will build an understanding of swine production so as to help protect our soil, water, and air resources. Through this understanding, we can expect benefits to the environment, consumers, and the pork industry," said Floyd Horn, ARS administrator.

"This new center allows Iowa State and other Midwestern universities to be major contributors to cutting edge research for the swine industry," said David Topel, dean of the Iowa State College of Agriculture. "As a national facility, it can mean even greater cooperative efforts with our colleagues around this region and the U.S."

The federal government built the National Swine Research and Information Center to bring together in a single facility research on pork industry problems, such as odor, water quality impact, animal health and worker safety. Mike Wehler, past president of the National Pork Producers Association, said centralizing research and a variety of data bases will benefit the industry.

"We are excited about the opportunities this partnership of Iowa State, other land-grant universities, ARS and the pork production industry will provide at the center," said Wehler, of Plain, Wisc.

Max Schmidt, president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, said the benefits of the new center will extend beyond pork producers.

"The National Swine Research and Information Center will bring federal, state and industry experts together to provide technology that also will benefit consumers, users of natural resources and the quality of life in rural areas," said Schmidt.

The 52,000-square-foot building was completed in 1998. Talks between Iowa State and ARS have been underway since then on operation of the facility. ARS is the chief scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


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