Farm Progress

PorkBridge educational series returns for 13th year

A dozen years after its inception as a pilot project, PorkBridge is still going strong.

January 10, 2018

3 Min Read
TUNE-IN: If you want to participate in upcoming PorkBridge learning session via computer or other learning device, the subscription form and payment must be received by Jan.16.

The 13th year of the distance-education series devoted to hog production and management, known as PorkBridge, begins Feb. 1.

This low-tech program features topics important to those who work with grow-finish operations. Topics are presented by recognized industry experts. Provided through the collaboration of 11 land-grant universities with swine faculty and staff, PorkBridge reaches producers and industry professionals across the country and around the world through a bimonthly series of six sessions.

Iowa State University animal science professor and Extension swine specialist Ken Stalder is the Iowa contact for PorkBridge. He describes the program as a source of relevant and accurate information for those who own, manage or work in swine grow-finish facilities.

Farmers rely on relevant, accurate information
“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 says. “PorkBridge participants can take part where it works best for them — whether at home, in an office or in the swine unit. And all can listen later to the audio we record of each live session.”

PorkBridge combines electronic materials with live presentations by topic speakers via teleconference. About a week before each session, subscribers receive a web link to download the 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 their own copy of the presentation on their computer or other device.

Sessions first Thursday of month
Based on participant suggestions and personal experience, organizers decided to move up the time of these sessions to 11:30 a.m. Central. Stalder says they hope the slightly earlier time frame will allow more people to participate in the live sessions.

Sessions are generally scheduled for the first Thursday of each designated month, but occasionally are moved up a week to avoid interference with national industry events. Each session lasts about 45 minutes.

“The registration amount hasn’t changed since the program began in 2005. This remains a tremendous deal at only $125 for the entire year,” Stalder says. “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,” Stalder says. “Anyone with questions, regardless of location, should contact Sherry Hoyer at the Iowa Pork Industry Center at ISU for more information.” Hoyer can be reached by phone at 515-294-4496 or email [email protected].

Deadline to register Jan. 16

To provide a look at content of PorkBridge sessions, this example video was created using the presentation material and audio recording from a 2017 session, where speaker Dale Ricker presents “Sights, Sounds and Smells of a Normal Finisher Barn.”

The subscription form and payment must be received by Jan. 16 to ensure receipt of program materials in time for the Feb. 1 session. The program brochure has details and the registration form. Iowa residents who want more information can call Stalder at 800-808-7675.

Session dates, speakers and their industry affiliations and topics are:
Feb. 1, Jamie Eggers, National Pork Board, “Common Swine Industry Audit — Updates and Opportunities for Improvements
 April 5, Kyle Coble, New Fashion Pork, “How Non-Antibiotic Farms are Successful”
 May 31, Dave Thompson, Michigan State University “Effective Disinfectant Rotations”
 Aug. 2, Pete Raynor, University of Minnesota, UMASH, “Factors Influencing Air Pollutant Levels in Swine Barns”
 Oct. 4, Maria Pieters, University of Minnesota, “Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae Diagnostics”
 Dec. 6, Mike Ellis, University of Illinois, “Sorting Pigs in Wean-to-Finish Facilities to Maximize Output”

All of the news releases initially are listed and linked on the Iowa Pork Industry Center homepage at

Source: IPIC

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