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SHIC Releases 2023 Progress Report and 2024 Plan of Work

Manhattan, Kansas (January 17, 2024) – While the 2023 Progress Report provides pork producers, swine veterinarians, and industry stakeholders a review of the Swine Health Information Center’s activities and accomplishments to carry out its mission over the past year, the 2024 Plan of Work outlines projects to address its five strategic priorities in the new year. Those priorities include 1) improving swine health information, 2) monitoring and mitigating risks to swine health, 3) responding to emerging disease, 4) surveillance and discovery of emerging disease, and 5) swine disease matrices.

SHIC’s Progress Report is divided into sections detailing the year’s progress in each of the priority areas. All activities include constant communication and coordination with the National Pork Board, the National Pork Producers Council, and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians to serve the US pork industry. A detailed description of the completed USDA-Foreign Agricultural Service-funded ASF research program conducted in Vietnam is also included.

While guided by the 2023 Plan of Work, SHIC also strives for nimbleness to urgently address new industry needs as they are identified. SHIC, along with the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, an organization advancing actionable science to develop tools, technologies, and information for farmers, consumers and the environment, and Pork Checkoff, funded the two-year $2.3M Wean-to-Harvest Biosecurity Research Program. The program funded 16 research projects in 2023 and will continue to fund projects into 2024. By leveraging budget allocation with the matching funds from FFAR and the Checkoff, SHIC increased capacity and output for its mission to safeguard the health of the US swine herd.

The SHIC Board of Directors reallocated funds from the 2023 budget projection for collaborative Japanese encephalitis virus research to strengthen US pork industry preparedness for this virus that caused a wide-spread swine disease outbreak in Australia in 2022. The board also designated funds to research the use of tongue tip fluids from pig mortalities to monitor disease circulation in US pig herds, a new need identified in 2023 by a SHIC working group.

Developed through stakeholder feedback and approved by the SHIC Board of Directors, the 2024 Plan of Work will be implemented by Executive Director Dr. Megan Niederwerder and Associate Director Dr. Lisa Becton with input from the board and SHIC Working Groups.

Proposals addressing the 2024 Plan of Work detailed priorities are accepted on a rolling basis for review and funding recommendation. SHIC’s activities are guided by the Plan of Work while remaining nimble and responsive to industry needs. Stakeholder input and ideas are welcomed year-round to inform newly identified needs which may necessitate adapting the Plan of Work to fulfill SHIC’s mission. https://www.swinehealth.org/plan-of-work-input/ Input may include topic areas, research priorities, and identified industry needs in which SHIC should focus efforts, such as an emerging swine disease or an emerging swine health issue.

SHIC began operation as a 501(c)(3) corporation on July 4, 2015. The mission of SHIC is to protect and enhance the health of the US swine herd by minimizing the impact of emerging disease threats through preparedness, coordinated communications, global disease monitoring, analysis of swine health data, and targeted research investments. When SHIC was formed in 2015 by a grant of Checkoff funds from the National Pork Board, it was with the understanding that it was a five-year project. During 2021, the National Pork Board’s Board of Directors voted to provide $15M to continue to fund SHIC’s work through 2027.

The Swine Health Information Center, launched in 2015 with Pork Checkoff funding, protects and enhances the health of the US swine herd by minimizing the impact of emerging disease threats through preparedness, coordinated communications, global disease monitoring, analysis of swine health data, and targeted research investments. As a conduit of information and research, SHIC encourages sharing of its publications and research. Forward, reprint, and quote SHIC material freely. For more information, visit http://www.swinehealth.org or contact Dr. Megan Niederwerder at mniederwerder@swinehealth.org or Dr. Lisa Becton at lbecton@swinehealth.org .

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