Professional development training in swine farm evaluation. The primary focus would be
swine health evaluation, but housing, feeding, breeding, waste management and
handling have a large impact on health and must be taken into consideration.
b) Context, Justification and assumptions
The raising of pigs is important in the Samoan culture. Most traditional events involve
the giving of pigs as gifts and the consumption of locally produced pork. Currently there
is no one in American Samoa who specializes in swine management or swine health to
provide proper training of local extension agents. There is also a need to monitor swine
diseases that may pose a threat to food security and human health.
Background and previous projects.
In 1998 the Agriculture Development in the American Pacific Livestock Waste
Management project collected data on pig farm size, housing, feeding, waste
management and health. Results indicated the presence swine of six leptospirosis
serovars and parvovirus, which can be controlled by vaccination, and of heavy parasites
loads, which can be controlled by appropriate treatments.
In the 2000s dry litter housing systems for swine were introduced to minimize water use
and liquid waste runoff leading to water pollution. While many piggeries were designed
to use dry litter, farmers struggle with managing these systems and sometimes go back
to using frequent washing.
In 2016 American Samoa Artificial Insemination Training taught heat detection and
artificial insemination of sows and new techniques for castration of piglets. Trainees
included Land Grant agriculture staff and students from American Samoa Community
College and Department of Agriculture staff. They also evaluated some of the
constraints on pig performance based on visual observation, including external parasites
and suboptimal feeding. Pig growth was observed to be below expectations.
Based on these previous projects, there is a clear need for professional development
training in swine farm evaluation, including breeding, housing and environment,
feeding, health and disease and management. The primary focus would be swine health
evaluation, but housing, feeding, breeding, waste management and handling have a
large impact on health and must be taken into consideration. Trainers will be Dr. Halina
Zalezki, PhD, Swine Extension Specialist University of Hawai’i- Manoa and Dr. Thomas
Petznick, DVM and member of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.
c) Stakeholder and partner involvement
The American Samoa Departments of Agriculture and Public Health, American Samoa
Community College – Community and Natural Resources (ASCC-CNR) instruction,
extension staff and agricultural students and local farmers are all committed to
receiving and then providing training in swine farm evaluation to improve swine
management in American Samoa.
The American Samoa Community College – Community and Natural Resources Division
and American Samoa Department of Agriculture (ASDOA) will offer experimental station
piggery, laboratory facilities, training room, transportation of participants and staff to
assist with this training.
A. Target Audience
ASCC-CNR Extension, Instruction, Research staff and students (14 participants).
ASDOA extension agents (5 participants).
B. Activities and Methods
1. Development of a survey sheet for swine farm assessment, relevant to American
2. On-farm, hands-on training on conducting a swine farm survey, collection of samples
for internal and external parasites, and blood samples for viral and other diseases,
evaluation of samples that can be conducted locally, procedures for collecting and
sending samples for off island testing and vaccination training. There will also be
survey/training on proper housing, feeding, breeding, handling and waste
3. Classroom workshop and discussion for trainees to review findings of survey and
4. Workshop with farmers to discuss challenges and present general recommendations
for improvements in swine production in American Samoa.
1. Results of swine health survey, including identification of parasites and diseases will
be made available to the ASDOA, ASCC-CNR and local Department of Public Health.
2. This partnership with a Swine Extension Specialist at the University of Hawai’i-
Manoa and a member of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians will be of
great value in continuing to upgrade and improve swine production and the
monitoring of animal and animal to human diseases in American Samoa.
3. Additions to the ASCC-CNR Animal Sciences Curriculum, on survey methods and
Project objectives from proposal:
Currently there is no one specializing in swine management in American Samoa even
though swine production is very important in the Samoan culture. The trainees
increased awareness of the causes of the problems swine farmers are having, the ability
to evaluate conditions and find solutions, the skills to collect and test samples locally or
to have them sent to overseas labs, conduct vaccinations and the ability to monitor
diseases that can be potentially threatening to animal or human health are all very