A proposed center at Iowa State University would be the first in the nation to give veterinarians hands-on training on how to keep hogs healthy in the pork production chain, university officials said Tuesday. If approved by the Iowa Board of Regents on Thursday, the university says the Swine Medicine Education Center would attract veterinary students and practicing veterinarians from across North America interested in specializing in swine and animals raised for food.

The center would partner with a large veterinary practice that owns a pork production company that would provide a site with 5,000 sows where students could get hands-on experience, reports Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

"It's going to make Iowa a hub for some of the best science around the world as it relates to pigs and pork and also a destination for people who are involved in those activities, whether it's from a public health perspective, an environmental perspective or an animal security perspective," said Locke Karriker, an ISU associate professor who would be the center’s director. "Our overarching goal is to try and get the very best and most valuable scientific evidence into the hands of people who can apply it to the greatest benefit of pigs and people."

The center, which would have a director, a clinical swine veterinarian and a program manager, would cost $195,000 to run in its first year, nearly half of which would come from the pork industry.

Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek

24.8 tons of U.S. poultry seized by Russia, to be returned

The Far Eastern department of Russia's agriculture watchdog has seized almost 25 metric tons of U.S. poultry due to concerns over its quality, the department's deputy chief said on Wednesday.

"A container with 24.8 tons of frozen poultry arrived to Vladivostok from the United States during the inspection. Rosselkhoznadzor specialists discovered that the name of the producing company on the labels did not match the name on accompanying documentation," Vitaly Salenko said.

"The whole batch was seized and will be returned to the exporting country," he added.

Sources: Dow Jones Factiva, Urner Barry

Triple T announces new jobs

Triple T Specialty Meats, Inc., only a short 11 months after the processing plant was at risk of closing its doors in 2009, announces new hires. Since the original and local owners Greg and Jolene Heikens resumed ownership in January of 2010, the processing facility has made a successful turnaround allowing them to create more jobs hiring a HACCP & HR Director, followed by a marketing director with plans of more job openings to come in the near future.

Jolene Heikens, president and CEO of Triple T, credits the company’s rise out of recession to aggressive sales strategies.

“The sales are out there, you just have to look harder to find them,” says Heikens. “I have always believed in Triple T’s achievement and believe that surrounding myself with exceptional people will lead the way. That is why I made these hiring choices.

“Todd Schoolman is a local resident who impressed me by his attention to detail, which is an important skill to demonstrate when effectively working with food safety. The addition of Tiffany Bomer as our marketing director was in my mind a perfect fit due to her sophisticated background in the fresh meat industry as the former marketing manager of Vande Rose Farms,” she adds. “Greg and I feel truly blessed to welcome our new hires and for all of our dedicated and hard-working employees as they play a large role in continuing the growth of our company.”

Triple T Specialty Meats is located in Ackley, Iowa and is a federally inspected processor that specializes in ready-to-eat foodservice and retail products.

Source: Triple T Specialty Meats Inc.

Saladworks adds new sandwiches to menu

Saladworks, a fresh-tossed salad franchise concept, announces that new panini sandwiches are now available. The available selection includes Buffalo Chicken, Turkey Melt, Chicken Mozzarella, and Caprese panini served on grilled, seasoned sourdough bread.

“One of the reasons our create-your-own salad is such a popular menu item is because our fans want choices,” said Saladworks’ founder/CEO, John Scardapane. “We recognize that, and pride ourselves on the variety of our menu offering. We know our fans will enjoy the new paninis as they have our fresh, made-to-order entrée-sized salads.”

The Buffalo Chicken Panini blends Saladworks’ original, spicy buffalo sauce and bleu cheese dressing on sliced chicken breast with mozzarella cheese. The Turkey Melt includes sliced turkey, bacon, and cheddar cheese melted with Thousand Island dressing. The Chicken Mozzarella combines sliced chicken breast and fresh mozzarella with warm marinara sauce.

Source: Saladworks