Signs telling visitors that strict biosecurity guidelines are in place on farms, as well as giving emergency contact information, soon will be delivered to almost 200 Illinois pork producers. The signs were funded through the National Pork Board’s “We Care” program. A second signup to gauge the level of interest from farmers who were not involved in the first order will be conducted Feb. 4 and 5 at the Illinois Pork Expo in Peoria.
Signs telling visitors that strict biosecurity guidelines are in place on farms, as well as giving emergency contact information, soon will be delivered to almost 200 Illinois pork producers. The signs were funded through the National Pork Board’s “We Care” program. A second signup to gauge the level of interest from farmers who were not involved in the first order will be conducted Feb. 4 and 5 at the Illinois Pork Expo in Peoria.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — It’s a long white barn with big fans at the end near the road. But what’s going on inside it?

Can I just walk in and take a peek? Who do I call, after I call 911, if I see someone trying to break into it?

Why can’t I just go inside and see for myself? What’s the big secret?

Questions such as these can be answered by a sign.

A recent campaign by the Illinois Pork Producers Association to inform the public that strict biosecurity measures are in place at farm locations, including remote farm locations, has had good results.

“It was a great response and very timely, obviously, with PEDV and the need for more biosecurity,” said Tim Maers, communications director for the Illinois Pork Producers Association.

The signs were a result of a need identified by pork board members.

“We received funds from the National Pork Board, and one of the things our committee talked about was these stop signs. Some people have them, but they are getting old and faded. We were talking about the ‘We Care’ program and how biosecurity is a part of that,” Maiers said.

With PEDV, porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, on the march through the U.S. swine herd, veterinarians and swine health experts are urging that all swine farms, regardless of type, tighten up their biosecurity measures.

The signs clearly say “STOP” and notify the guest that biosecurity and disease control measures are in place on the farm. The signs also list the farm name and an emergency contact person and phone number for the farm site.

“It reminds visitors to the farm that the biosecurity and disease control measures are for the protection of the pigs as far as limiting access,” Maiers said.

In the first round, farmers could order up to five signs for free. That first group resulted more than 950 signs requested. Those will be handed out to the farmers who ordered them during the Illinois Pork Expo.

At the expo, a second signup will be conducted to gauge interest from farmers in ordering more signs.

“We’ll be taking the signs that were ordered to expo and handing them out. We know some people didn’t hear about it, so we’re going to have another signup to see how much interest there is and what kind of funds we can get for this year. This will be a chance for those who didn’t get signs to put their name in,” Maiers said.

“We had a good response, and people are interested in the signs and excited about them.”