By Sherry Hoyer–Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
AMES, Iowa – Since 2005, PorkBridge has provided relevant and timely information to grow-finish swine producers and other industry professionals across the U.S. and around the world. The 2021 program year series begins on Feb. 4 and continues every-other month for six total sessions.
The program is a source of relevant and accurate information for those who own, manage, or work in swine grow-finish facilities, according to Iowa State University animal science professor and extension swine specialist, Ken Stalder, who is the Iowa contact for PorkBridge.
PorkBridge provides an interactive teleconference with electronic materials and live presentations. About a week before each session, subscribers will receive a web link to download the session’s presentation and any additional information provided by the presenter. Participants call in for the audio portion of each session and follow along with their own copy of the presentation on their computer or other device.
“Producers and others in the industry can get the information they need without the hassle of traveling or giving up an entire day to attend a meeting,” Stalder said. “PorkBridge participants can take part at home, in an office, or in the swine unit, wherever it works best for them, and all participants can listen later to the audio we record of each live session.”
Sessions generally are scheduled for the first Thursday of each designated month. Each session begins at 11:15 a.m. CST and lasts no more than an hour.
The price remains at $100 for the entire series, and as in the past, each subsequent registration from the same entity is half that amount. Each registration provides access to one phone line per session and all program materials for each registration, including audio recordings of the live session.
Program costs are slightly different for those with non-U.S. mailing addresses. Anyone with questions, regardless of location, should contact Sherry Hoyer at Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State for more information. Hoyer can be reached by phone at 515-294-4496 or email [email protected].
This example video featuring info from a 2017 PorkBridge session provides an opportunity to see the content and format of this delivery method. Speaker Dale Ricker presents “Sights, Sounds, and Smells of a Normal Finisher Barn.”
The registration form and payment must be received by Jan. 20 to assure receipt of program materials in time for the first session on Feb. 4. The program brochure has details and the registration form. Iowa residents who want more information can call Stalder at 515-294-4683.
Session dates, speakers and their industry affiliations, and topics are as follows:
- Feb. 4 – Jen Sorenson, Iowa Select Farms; “How to Handle Activists on Farms.”
- April 1 – Monica McConkey, Minnesota Department of Ag; “Mental Health for Pig Barn Workers.”
- June 3 – Matt Ritter, Provimi US; “In-barn Impacts on Meat Quality.”
- Aug. 5 – Nat Stas, PIC; “Water Management to Maximize Performance.”
- Oct. 7 – Jeff Blythe, Pipestone; “Biosecurity for Grow-Finish Production.”
- Dec. 3 – Chris Rademacher, Iowa State University; “Interventions to Reduce Mortality: Postweaning.”
PorkBridge is provided through a cooperative effort of 15 colleges and universities from the nation’s major swine producing states, including Iowa State University.