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PorkBridge series returns for 11th year

By Staff | Jan 2, 2017

AMES – The 11th year of the distance education series, PorkBridge, begins Feb. 2, 2017.

This low-tech program features timely topics presented by recognized industry experts. Operating through the collaboration of 11 land grant universities, PorkBridge reaches producers and industry professionals across the country and around the world in an every other month series of six sessions.

The subscription form and payment must be received by Jan. 16 to assure receipt of program materials in time for the first session

Ken Stalder, AN Iowa State University Extension swine specialist, is the Iowa contact for PorkBridge. He said the distance education series provides relevant and accurate information for those who own, manage or work in swine grow-finish facilities.

“Producers and others in the industry can get the information they need without the hassle of traveling or giving up a whole day to attend a meeting,” Stalder said. “PorkBridge participants can take part where it works best for them whether at home, in an office or in the swine unit.

“And whether or not they can participate in the live session, all are able to download audio files from each session for later use.”

Stalder, who also is swine specialist with Iowa Pork Industry Center at ISU, said PorkBridge combines electronic information viewed on a computer with live presentations by topic experts via phone.

About a week before each session, subscribers receive a web link to download that session’s presentation and any additional information provided by the presenter.

Those who request it also receive the same materials via mailed CD. Participants call in for the audio portion of each session and follow along with the presentation on their computer.

Sessions generally are scheduled for the first Thursday of the designated month, starting at noon Central Time. New this year is a change in session length to a maximum of 60 minutes.

Based on participant suggestions and personal experience, organizers decided to shorten individual sessions because they understand that many are limited to an hour or less over their noon break. It’s hoped that the shorter length will encourage more to listen live.

“The registration amount has not changed since the program began in 2005, and remains at $125 for the entire year,” Stalder said.

An informational brochure with subscription information is available on the IPIC website at www.ipic.iastate.edu/PorkBridge/2017PBbrochureIPIC.pdf.

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

Session dates, speakers, their industry affiliations and topics are as follows.

A). February 2: Chris Rademacher, Iowa State University, “VFD compliance in the barn.”

B). April 6 Laura Bruner, Swine Vet Center, “Early recognition of Seneca Valley Virus.”

C). June 1: Leon Sheets, pork producer, “Responding to on-farm disasters.”

D). August 3: Christina Philips, Smithfield, “On-farm research.”

E). Oct. 5: Dale Ricker, The Ohio State University, “Sites, sounds and smells of normal finisher barn.”

F). Dec. 7: Joseph Zulovich, University of Missouri, “Recognizing maintenance needs.”

Each registration provides access to one phone line per session and all program materials for each registration.

Stalder said materials, delivery process, and program costs are slightly different for those with non-U.S. mailing addresses, and encouraged potential subscribers from outside the U.S. to contact Sherry Hoyer at IPIC by phone at (515) 294-4496 or email shoyer@iastate.edu for more information.

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