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Swine Management

ECC swine management students sorting hogs

Swine production continues to play a vital role in the economics of many rural communities throughout the U.S. Entry-level positions with independent producers, small production companies, large corporations, and allied industries pay well and offer unlimited opportunity for advancement. Site and department managers oversee the day-to-day operation of a swine production unit and must have good animal husbandry skills to be successful.

ECC’s Swine Management program prepares students for employment as general managers, herdsmen or managers of breeding, farrowing, nursery or finishing units as well as other specialized careers involving management, production and marketing of swine. In addition to technical agriculture subjects in both crop and livestock production, mechanical skills and farm business management are also included.

Supervised occupational experience in Swine Management for college credit is an integral part of this program. Most people are familiar with the concept of paying for a college education…but what about getting paid to learn! You can help finance your education with a paid internship providing real world, on-the-job experience. Internships offer great hands-on practice, professional networking, and a powerful boost to you resume. Internships sometimes lead to full-time employment because an employer has already trained you!

This nine-month Diploma program prepares graduates for employment directly after graduation. Upon completion of 18 credit hours, students are awarded the Certificate of Agricultural Science; this track may be continued to earn the Swine Management Diploma or transferred within the Agricultural Science Department for completion of an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Animal Science.


There is a high demand for skilled swine caretakers in all areas of production throughout the Midwest. Managers with effective communication and problem-solving skills are in high demand throughout the industry. Career tracks include farm managers, department managers, independent contractors, production specialists, interns, swine caretakers, and self employment.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, the 2012 median pay for Agriculture Managers with a high school diploma (or equivalent) was $69,300 per year; the job outlook for 2012-2022 calls for a -19% decline in employment, which may provide a significant advantage to those with a college diploma.


  • Travel with classmates to a variety of farm shows including the Iowa Power Farming Show, Farm Progress Show, Iowa Beef Expo, Iowa Pork Congress, and the National Western Livestock Show in Denver, CO.
  • The College offers generous scholarships and financial aid packages … there are many Swine Management diploma scholarships available, including the Bob & Arlene Hamilton Excellence in Agriculture Scholarships, which cover nearly a full year’s tuition and fees!
  • What students appreciate about ECC is our smaller class sizes, which results in more one-on-one attention from the instructor and greater classroom success.
  • Instruction is mainly hands-on and includes many outings to livestock operations in the area, as well as partnerships with local producers and the Extension Service.
  • Our Ag Science Club is a blast … activities include involvement in Iowa and National Postsecondary Agriculture Students (PAS) leadership conferences, field trips, service projects, parties, and more.
  • Professor Kevin Butt has been teaching agriculture at ECC since 2004. He has been recognized nationally as one of four Outstanding Postsecondary Agriculture Education Teachers in the United States.

Degree(s) Awarded


Kevin Butt

Kevin Butt

Kevin grew up on a farm just outside of Iowa Falls and still helps with the family farm operations. He graduated from Ellsworth in 1990 with...

Kevin grew up on a farm just outside of Iowa Falls and still helps with the family farm operations. He graduated from Ellsworth in 1990 with an Associate’s degree in Ag Science, then transferred to Iowa State University, where he graduated with bachelor’s degrees in Ag Education and Animal Science. Kevin spent several years working...

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