Registrations for two successful distance education programs for specific segments of the pork industry are now open at Iowa State University. SowBridge, for people who work with boars, sows and their litters, begins its sixth year, and PorkBridge, for those affiliated with grow-finish facilities, begins its eighth year. Both of these upcoming sessions, held over the Internet, will take place beginning in early February 2014.
Iowa State University animal science professor and Extension swine specialist Ken Stalder says suggestions from subscribers to these sessions help maintain the value of both programs for future participants. "Each year we ask participants in both programs for suggestions on topics and speakers, and we are happy to provide current content on topics that people are interested in," he says. "These programs provide our subscribers with the opportunity to hear directly from experts on topics of current interest, and to contact those experts following the individual sessions."
These two swine management education programs offer timely and accurate information
Stalder, who also is the Iowa contact for the programs, says the programs offer accurate and timely information on a variety of topics through a regular schedule. In addition, the registration fee has not increased for either program. "SowBridge participants pay just $250 for the twelve monthly sessions in that program, and PorkBridge costs $125 for the six sessions held every other month for a year," he notes. "And, for each program, entities with more than one location may pay lower fees for each subsequent registration from that same entity."~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
Each registration provides access to one phone line per session and all program materials for each registration. Materials, delivery process and program costs are slightly different for those with non-U.S. mailing addresses. Potential subscribers from outside the U.S. are encouraged to contact Sherry Hoyer at Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC) by phone at 515-294-4496 or email [email protected] for more information.
Registrations for both programs are due Jan. 15, 2014 to ensure materials receipt for the first session of each
Before each session, U.S. subscribers receive a CD containing that session's presentation, along with information on accessing the live speaker presentation. Most participants will call a toll-free conference line to listen to and interact with presenters. SowBridge sessions are held on the first Wednesday of each month at 11:30 a.m. Central Time and last approximately 45 minutes. PorkBridge sessions generally are set for the first Thursday of every other month, beginning at noon Central Time and lasting for about 90 minutes.
One new feature for this year's schedule is a session to be offered as a joint SowBridge and PorkBridge session. This session, set for Wednesday, June 4, will originate from World Pork Expo with the topic, "The importance of Educating Others about Pork Production."
SowBridge is sponsored by a group of 11 state universities—including Iowa State
More information on SowBridge, including a link to the program brochure, is available on the IPIC website. The website also has a section for PorkBridge including that brochure. Iowa residents who want more information on either program can call IPIC at 800-808-7675. SowBridge is sponsored by a group of 11 state universities – including ISU – from the major swine producing states.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
Topics for SowBridge course for 2014 are very relevant to people involved with sows:
* February 5, 2014 Managing Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv), Rodney "Butch" Baker, Iowa State University
* March 5, 2014 Determining When to Cull Sows, Mark Knauer, North Carolina State University
* April 2, 2014 Pain Management for Sows, Monique Pairis-Garcia, Iowa State University
* May 7, 2014 Are You Prepared for a Third Party Audit? Amber Stricker, Suidae Health and Production
* June 4, 2014 Importance of Educating Others about Pork Production, Jon Hoek, Belstra Milling Company Inc.
* July 2, 2014 Practices to Avoid Antibiotic Residue in Cull Sows, Carissa Odland, Pipestone Veterinary Clinic
* August 6, 2014 Advocating Worker Safety on Farms, Sheila Schmid, Schwartz Farms, Inc.
* September 3, 2014 Practices to Reduce Reliance on Antibiotics, James McKean, Iowa State University
* October 1, 2014 Making Fixed-Time AI Work, Tim Safranski, University of Missouri
November 5, 2014 Inducing Sows to Farrow: Pros & Cons, Rob English, The Maschhoffs
* December 3, 2014 Feeding and Management of Sows in Pens, Lee Johnston, University of Minnesota
* January 7, 2015 Gilt Development, Billy Flowers, North Carolina State University
Tune-in to SowBridge sessions in the comfort of your barn or home office
Pork producers and their employees have full schedules so it is sometimes difficult to attend educational meetings. To address that issue, swine Extension specialists from across the country have developed SowBridge, a sow-focused educational program that people can participate in from their home or office in the barn. "SowBridge is designed for both owners and employees, and allows you access to some of the top people in their fields talking about important issues for your farm," says Bob Thaler, South Dakota State University Extension swine specialist.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
Pork producers enrolled in SowBridge will receive a CD with a PowerPoint and other session materials each month before the session which is scheduled, Thaler explains. At 11:30 a.m. on that day, they just put the CD in their computer, pull up the PowerPoint, and then call into a free 1-800 number to participate in the presentation.
"Participants follow along with the presentation on their computer as the speaker presents. At the end of the formal presentation which lasts about 30 minutes, there is time available for speaker questions and producer discussion," he says. The total program length is approximately 45 minutes. Throughout the program year, participants can continue to ask questions or offer comments via the e-mail discussion group. "The great thing about SowBridge is you don't even need internet access; you just need a phone line and a computer. Also, you don't need to drive to a meeting site. If you miss a presentation, they are recorded so you can watch it at a later date," adds Thaler.
January 15 is deadline to sign up for first session; if you miss this deadline you can still sign up for the rest of the sessions
The cost of the total program is $250 which is basically $21 for each of the sessions. It won't take much of an improvement in your operation to more than make up that expense. "I hope pork producers decide to take advantage of this great educational opportunity," Thaler says. "It is one of the best bargains available."
The deadline is January 15, 2014 to participate in the first session. If you miss this deadline, you can still register for the remaining sessions. Checks need to be made out to the "Iowa Pork Industry Center," and then mailed to: Sherry Hoyer, IPIC, 109 Kildee Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-3150. Her email and phone are [email protected] and 515-294-4496.