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
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
“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
“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.”