This grant was a training program for livestock extension agents working with the Extension Service of the Land-Grant Institutions, State Department of Agriculture staff and hog producers in Micronesia. Correspondence and workshops were utilized to educate and train participants. Teaching materials were produced from swine factsheets produced by the Pork Industry Handbook and local publications from University of Hawaii and University of Guam. Factsheets and publications were simplified and summarized by program major participants to fit clientele level of understanding. These lessons were mailed monthly to participants.
Participants were selected to attend a workshop on Guam. Selection of participants was based on quiz results and finishing the whole course of the training program.
1. Promote good stewardship of the nation’s natural resources by providing site-specific and profitable sustainable farming and ranching methods that strengthen agricultural competitiveness.
2. Enhance the quality of life for farmers/ranchers and ensure rural community viability, by increasing income and employment-especially profitable self-employment opportunities in agriculture and rural communities.
a. Educate and train hog producers, extension agents and agricultural staff in swine production and management through correspondence lessons and training workshops.
Education & Outreach Initiatives
When the grant was approved for funding, invitational letters and information sheets were mailed to all LandGrant Institutions, local agricultural agencies and federal agencies directors to inform their employees to participate in the grant. The employees relayed the announcement to interested hog producers in the region. A list of 56 participants was established. Factsheets were produced and mailed to the participants. Participants with the highest scores from each island on four quizzes were given the chance to attend workshops conducted at the University of Guam.
Outreach and Publications
Twenty two factsheets on swine production were mailed to extension agents and hog producers in Micronesia. A poster on piglet management was also produced and translated to 4 island dialects. Two workshops for selected participants from the differnt islands were conducted at the University of Guam. A poster presentation on the grant was accepted at the 17th International Farming Systems Association Symposium under the theme of Farming System Education and Training. A maiden copy of a quarterly newsletter to be produced and mailed to all the participants. This quarterly newsletter will be similar to the factsheets plus additional information on current swine technologies and researches.
Education and training can be attained through correspondence among areas where information technology is not accessible. The results of such education can also be increased if participants would have the chance to see and experience the knowledge being shared in the educational materials produced.
Twenty two lessons in factsheet format were mailed to 56 participants composed of extension agents, hog producers and livestock staff in Micronesia. Factsheets were also passed to clients on Guam. These factsheets were prepared in Pagemaker and AdobePhotoshop program. Factsheets are 5 -7 pages of texts and photos that are printed in color. The titles of the factsheets are as follows:
1. Boars, sows and Swine Breeders
2. Breeders Nutrition
3. Breeding facilities Designs: Housing And Pens
4. Farrowing Activities
5. Farrowing Activities – Part 2
6. Piglet Management
7. Pre-weaning and Weaning Management Management
8. Best Practices for Artificial Insemination of Swine in the Pacific Islands
9. Weaning Management
10. Foot and Mouth Disease
11. Swine Disease Series on Uterine Prolapse, Dystocia and Mange
12. Guidelines for Proper Gilt Management
13. Water Quality for Hogs
14. Swine Waste Management
15. Swine Health Prevention Program
16. Swine Behavior
17.Managing Small Farms In Micronesia
18. Production Goals
19. Use of Local Feedstuffs For swine Feeding
20. Weather Related Stress and Farm Safety In Hog Farms
21. Improving The Swine Industry In The American Pacific
22. Farmer Rancher Grant (FRG) and Purchasing Farm Supplies
Twenty participants from the region attended the swine management workshop conducted on March 26 – 30 , 2001 and March 26 -29 2002 at the University of Guam. Five of the participants were hog producers. The highlight of the workshop was the translation of the piglet management poster to each of the participant’s dialect. One of the workshop sessions was devoted to Farmer / Rancher grant writing. The workshop activities included lectures and reviews of the factsheets produced. The participants had hands-on experience on piglet management at various hog farms.
A poster presentation on the grant was accepted at the 17th International Farming Systems Association. The poster was included under Theme IV – Farming Systems Education and Training.
Agricultural professionals, extension agents and hog producers were educated and trained with current swine management. They will in turn share the knowledge and experience to their clients and to the community. The working relationships between agents and producers improved since information and educational opportunities were both available to both extension agents and producers.
An evaluation was conducted at the end of the workshop conducted on March 26 – 30, 2001. The feedback from each participant was very encouraging. They suggested that these educational activities should be continued either by conducting workshops in the region and producing factsheets . They find the information and photos in the factsheet interesting and educational. I will be producing a quarterly newsletter for all the participants using college funds. The workshop participants will serve as contact persons and leaders for future grants. In fact, the response for a current grant was extra-encouraging.
A similar workshop was conducted in Yap last January 2002 upon the request of the Director of Agriculture.
The demonstration of the farrowing crate and gestating stalls in Pohnpei created interest among the hog producers. The first delivery in the farrowing crate was very successful. The producers saw healthier and bigger piglets delivered in a crate compared to those delivered in concrete slab or in the ground.
Extension agents and hog producers should have the chance to see trade shows such as the World Pork Exposition or training workshops outside of Micronesia to broaden their experiences in swine production.
Production of audio visuals such as video, CD’s or DVD’s of swine management done on local farms. Hog producers will be more appreciative of the best management practices on swine management if they can relate to their regional and local conditions compared to buying video that has a farm setting in the United States or other developed countries.
All educational materials be translated to their native dialects. Information and training workshops must be available not only to extensions agents but to hog producers
as well. Extension Service must have a system for information and educational publications to reach the hog producers or their clientele other than the extension agent. Conferences, symposiums and workshops should be organized by animal science professionals and researchers among the LandGrant Institutions, federal agencies and local agricultural agencies in Micronesia. Results and outcomes of research, grants and demonstrations should be shared directly to producers and agricultural workers because these individuals don’t have access to computers and Internet.