SowBridge educational series begins in February

By Ken Stalder and Sherry Hoyer–Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

AMES, Iowa – SowBridge, the distance educational series for those who work with sows, boars, and piglets, and with genetic and reproductive issues, begins its next program year in February, and registration is now underway.

Materials will be provided electronically with live presentations via teleconference.

“Each year, we ask participants for suggestions on topics and speakers and follow through as much as possible to provide current content that people are interested in,” said Ken Stalder, professor in animal science and extension swine specialist at Iowa State University. “SowBridge provides all participants with the opportunity to hear directly from experts and to contact those experts following the individual sessions.”

Stalder, who also is the Iowa contact for SowBridge, said registration remains at $200 for the first registration from an entity, and each subsequent registration from the same entity is half that amount, for subscribers from the U.S. or Canada.

“We recognize the current economic condition of the pork industry and want to encourage participation by all producers,” Stalder said. “By maintaining the registration fee, we hope more people will be able to take part.”

SowBridge is designed to improve the understanding and application of various tools and techniques involved in daily care of the breeding herd and piglets. Sessions are typically scheduled for the first Wednesday of every month but occasionally may be moved a week to avoid interference with national industry events or holidays.

“With the live phone presentation and slideshow available on their computer or other device, participants can take part from anywhere without needing internet access,” Stalder said.

SowBridge can serve as continuing education for employees and meets this requirement for PQA certification.

Before each session, participants receive a link to download the presentation and any additional information provided by the presenter. Participants call in for the audio portion of each session to listen to the presenter while following the presentation file on their own computer or device. Sessions begin Feb. 3 at 11:15 a.m. Central Time and last no more than an hour.

Each registration provides access to one phone line per session and all program materials for each registration, including audio recordings of the live session. Materials, delivery process, and program costs are slightly different for those with non-U.S. mailing addresses. For more information, contact Sherry Hoyer at the Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State. She can be reached at 515-294-4496 or [email protected].

The registration deadline is Jan. 20. For more information and a registration form, visit the IPIC website.

Iowa residents who want more information can call Stalder at 800-808-7675.

Session dates, topics, speakers, and their industry affiliations are available online. SowBridge is provided through a cooperative effort of 15 colleges and universities from the nation’s major swine producing states.