Welcome to the Office of Public Engagement, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

U of I logo College of Veterinary Medicine

Executive Pork Producers Program

Certificate in Business Management
November 2011 through May 2013

Early registration deadline EXTENDED through July 24.
Register by July 5, 2011, for a $500 discount!

Professional Development That Makes a Difference
The Executive Pork Producers Program builds on the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine's award-winning Executive Veterinary Program (EVP). EVP was developed in 1991 to enhance the business, communication, and planning skills of busy animal health professionals. Since that time top swine industry veterinarians from throughout North America have benefitted from the program.

The Executive Pork Producers Program (EP3) addresses essential skills for excellence in swine business management. The objective of EP3 is to enhance the financial management, leadership, strategic thinking, and problem-solving skills of leaders in the pork industry.

Why EP3 at Illinois?
The College of Veterinary Medicine at Illinois has a long history of developing cutting-edge educational programs that blend traditional academic training with real-world exposure to address current challenges in food production. Starting with the Integrated Food Animal Medicine Systems (IFAMS) program in the 1980s and continuing with the Executive Veterinary Program (EVP) in the 1990s, Illinois has integrated scientific and business skill development into programs for key leaders in animal protein production. The Executive Pork Producers Program (EP3) is the next step in this effort to meet the needs of leaders in animal agriculture.

EP3 is designed to build on the success of the nationally recognized Executive Veterinary Program in Swine Health Management, which has graduated nearly 200 swine veterinarians who currently work with a large percentage of the pork producers in North America. EP3 was developed with input from our EVP graduates to give producers the opportunity for a focused, intensive program that develops skills that can be used from day one.

Program Organization
EP3 is a comprehensive interdisciplinary certificate program distinct from many traditional educational programs. Ten interactive learning modules will be held every other month for two days each (Thursday and Friday). In the time between each module, you will be expected to complete assigned work while applying the information in your workplace. Modules are organized sequentially to enhance the integration of the subject matter.

The EP3 instructors are nationally recognized experts in the field, from both academia and industry. Handouts, readings, and practical assignments for both individuals and groups will be assigned. Between modules there will be regular communication between the program participants, instructors, and program staff.

Program Goals

  • Participate in a unique educational experience while improving your business management and leadership skills.
  • Enhance your decision making abilities by learning a critical set of business skills.
  • Master the business principles utilized on a daily basis in the management of a production operation.
  • Become a member of a network of swine production leaders that advances idea sharing and promotes dialogue on key issues facing the ever-changing pork industry.

Program Modules

  Module 1 | November 10-11-2011

Great Manager Program

-Establish strategies for maximizing talents
-Understand the four keys to great management
-Identify management styles to increase employee engagement
-Complete Clifton StrengthsFinder individual strengths plan
-Apply motivation, recognition, and rewards techniques

Module 6 | September 6-7, 2012

Production Economics:
Decision Tools for a Competitive Edge

-Incorporate risk into management strategies
-Optimize profit
-Generate and protect profit
-Identify the drivers of profit
-Utilize decision tools in real-world situations

  Module 2 | January 12-13, 2012

Leadership of Winning Teams

-Improve team performance through engagement
-Apply performance assessment and conflict resolution techniques
-Hold effective difficult conversations
-Lead for change and innovatoin
-Create a team-based environment

Module 7 | November 8-9, 2012

Financial Management:
Understanding Capital Investments

-Analyze financial statements
-Understand the time value of money principles
-Establish net present value and projected cash flows
-Apply capital budgeting techniques
-Develop financial business plans

  Module 3 | March 1-2, 2012

Communication Techniques for Business Success

-Build trust and working relationships
-Establish team learning and dialogue
-Define critical issues in communication
-Create and sustain powerful conversations
-Establish effective information flow

Module 8 | January 10-11, 2013

Building Efficient Production Systems

-Understand LEAN management
-Apply LEAN management
-Match biological principles with the optimal production process
-Measure efficiencies
-Apply management practices

  Module 4 | May 10-11, 2012

The Biology of Efficient Production

-Understand the biology of the production process
-Define optimal production efficiency
-Recognize biological drivers of growing pigs
-Apply biological principles to real world problems

Module 9 | March 14-15, 2013

Strategic Management of Successful Businesses

-Understand the role of strategic management in achieving objectives
-Evaluate resources and capabilities
-Determine the drivers of a sustainable competitive advantage
-Understand organizational, management, and strategic positioning
-Strategically implement objectives

  Module 5 | July 12-13, 2012

Measuring Success:
Managerial Accounting Principles and Applications

-Understand standard cost allocation
-Analyze the finances of a business unit
-Determine break even point through application of cost behavior
-Use cost allocation for decision making
-Measure and manage profit
Module 10 | May 16-17, 2013

Group Presentations and Graduation

-Develop a business improvement plan solving a production challenge
-Topics determined by groups
-Integrate concepts utilized throughout the program
-Project presentations and discussions
-Banquet and certificate presentation

Admission Requirements
Enrollment is open to pork producers interested in increasing their business acumen and leadership skills.

Technical Requirements

  • A laptop with Microsoft Office 2007 products (wireless capability preferred);
  • Access to Internet connection; and
  • An easily-accessed email account.

EP3 Coordinators
Dr. Larry Firkins and Dr. Jim Lowe, both graduates of the Executive Veterinary Program, have spent their careers in the pork industry as veterinarians, educators, and business consultants. They bring a unique set of skills gained from working in and with some of the most progressive pork production companies in North America. Their work on swine health and management issues has resulted in serving the global swine industry in 20 countries. Dr. Firkins is a recognized leader for training veterinarians and livestock producers in human resource and leadership skills. Dr. Lowe's practical experience in teaching, consulting, and managing pork production systems brings a practical, get-it-done perspective to today's business challenges. Together they have developed an educational program that reflects their diverse experiences to benefit pork producers in an increasingly competitive market.

Lawrence D. Firkins, DVM, MS, MBA
Assistant Dean for Public Engagement
University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine

James F. Lowe, DVM, MS
Visiting Clinical Instructor
University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine

Module Dates
EP3 will meet every other month for two days each (Thursday and Friday). All sessions will be held at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine campus in Urbana, Ill.

  Module 1 November 10-11, 2011
  Module 2 January 12-13, 2012
  Module 3 March 1-2, 2012
  Module 4 May 10-11, 2012
  Module 5 July 12-13, 2012
  Module 6 September 6-7, 2012
  Module 7 November 8-9, 2012
  Module 8 January 10-11, 2013
  Module 9 March 14-15, 2013
  Module 10 May 16-17, 2013

Tuition for registrations placed by July 5, 2011, is $7500; a deposit of $500 is due at the time of registration. Tuition for registrations placed after July 5, is $8000; a deposit of $1000 is due at the time of registration. The balance is payable in five installments of $1400 each on:
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Thursday, March 14, 2013

Enrollment is limited to 40 participants.

Registration includes all program materials, daily lunches, and one dinner per module.

Register online.

Download a PDF of the printed registration materials.

EP3 class members are responsible for making all personal travel arrangements. Travel and lodging information will be sent upon registration.

For More Information
Lawrence D. Firkins
217 333 2907