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Fact Sheet: The New Swine Research And Teaching Center

The new facility will be built on the site of the old center.

Size: 35,580 square feet (slightly larger than the old center).

Cost: $3.9 million (paid for through the state”s insurance on the old center).

Contractor: Miron Construction Co., Inc., Appleton.

Estimated completion: summer 1998, weather permitting. After completion, it will take about a year to build the herd to full capacity.


For More Information: Center director Tom Crenshaw, (608) 263-4423,

The New Building
Changes in the building layout will make the building more accessible to the public than the old center was. An Education Wing has been designed for demonstrations, outreach projects, and classes. It will include a hands-on animal area and an air-conditioned classroom that can hold up to 40 people. Animal rooms in the Education Wing will include:

Farrowing room with 4 crates

Nursery/finisher room with 4 pens can house pigs from weaning to market as needed

Arena area – 4 pens for market pigs or gilts/sows for breeding and artificial insemination demonstrations

Visitors can use the Education Wing without showering and taking the other disease-prevention precautions necessary before entering the rest of the unit. The ventilation system has been designed to minimize the chance of disease transmission from the Education Wing to the rest of the unit.

Animal wings have been reconfigured to house younger pigs (nursery and farrowing) upwind from older pigs (finishing and gestation). Animal wings for each age group have been separated by greater distances than in the old center. The pen arrangement in the gestation room provides separation of boars and sows and an area for semen collection from boars. A semen lab is provided in the core area. Center director Tom Crenshaw plans to install an electronic animal identification system.

The center will host 10 to 15 different research projects during the course of a year. In addition to experiments conducted on-site, the center serves as the core of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences swine research program, supplying animals and tissue samples for campus lab work. About 80 percent of the animals will be used in Department of Animal Sciences studies. Also using the center will be the Departments of Biochemistry, Dairy Science and Nutritional Sciences, the Food Research Institute, the School of Veterinary Medicine, and the Medical School.

The rebuilding committee included representatives of Wisconsin Pork Producers, Inc.; feed companies and allied industries, and UW-Madison. John George, an agricultural engineer from Uniontown, Kansas, served as consulting engineer. Neal Jorgensen, dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, spearheaded the rebuilding project, from initial negotiations to the final design stages.

Some of the studies to be carried out at the center:

Conjugated linoleic acid as a feed supplement for market hogs, and its effects on meat quality and reduction in body fat content.

Nutrition and its impact on bone development; reduction in lameness problems in animals. Researchers are looking to minimize the nutrients in swine waste, but maintain nutrient levels for healthy animal development.

Boars — identify and maintain genetically superior boars for a boar stud and swine artificial insemination programs.

Effects of fat supplements on survival of newborn pigs.

Efficiency of nutrient use — the economic principles that determine nutrient use in pigs

Jan Rapacz”s work with hypercholesterolemic pigs (used as animal models for heart disease studies) is continuing. His swine herd is housed at another part of the Arlington station. One line of Rapacz”s pigs was nearly destroyed in the 1995 fire. Four pigs of that line survived the fire.