SHIC, along with the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) a non-profit organization established in the 2014 Farm Bill to build public-private partnerships that fund bold research addressing big food and agriculture challenges, and Pork Checkoff, joined together to fund a Wean-to-Harvest Biosecurity Program to be implemented over the next two years. Phase 1 involved identifying subject matter experts and assembling task forces with the responsibility of establishing research priorities. Now in Phase 2, SHIC, FFAR, and Pork Checkoff are soliciting proposals to investigate cost-effective, innovative technologies, protocols, or ideas to implement biosecurity during the wean-to-harvest phase of production. Proactively enhancing wean-to-harvest biosecurity will help control the next emerging disease in the US pork industry and improve US swine herd health, all part of SHIC’s mission including analysis of swine health data and targeted research to benefit the US pork industry.
Priorities for the research proposals reflect input from key industry stakeholders recruited to join the SHIC Wean-to-Harvest Biosecurity Program Site Task Force and Transport Task Force. These experts come from allied industry, academia, veterinary practice, and organizations involved in pork production. Collectively, their experience and interest reflect contemporary issues related to wean-to-harvest biosecurity. Working at a rapid pace, each Task Force has met virtually several times to develop and refine priorities for the research proposals now requested.
“Task force members came together, working efficiently and effectively to identify priorities for wean-to-harvest biosecurity,” remarked SHIC Associate Director Megan Niederwerder. “SHIC appreciates the time and service of each task member to provide valuable insight on how to best fill this gap in pork production biosecurity.”
Research priorities focus on site and transportation biosecurity and cover three areas – bioexclusion for preventing disease introduction on the farm, biocontainment for preventing disease spread from the farm to reduce risk to neighboring facilities, and transportation biosecurity for preventing disease movement from markets and other first points of concentration back to the farm. “We are seeking novel tools across all three areas for a comprehensive biosecurity approach,” explained SHIC Executive Director Paul Sundberg.
With a pool of approximately $2.3 million available for the research, proposals are capped at $200,000 but individual proposals may be higher with sufficient justification for a project that will be unique, high impact, and have industry-wide benefit. The proposal template and instructions for completion and submission can be found at https://www.swinehealth.org/call-for-research/. The deadline for proposal submission is 5:00 PM CDT, December 16, 2022.