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Serving: IA
hog nursing piglets Photo by Hedgehog/
DEADLINE: People who work with sows, boars and piglets can sign up for SowBridge by Jan. 15.

Registration open for 2019 SowBridge educational series

Online sessions provide information updates to better manage swine breeding, farrowing and baby pig care.

SowBridge, the distance education series for people who work with sows, boars and piglets, begins its 11th year in February. Registration is underway.

This low-tech opportunity pairs electronically provided materials with live presentations via teleconference. Suggestions from past participants influence planning the future year’s topics and speakers and maintain the program’s value, said Ken Stalder, Iowa State University animal science professor and Extension swine specialist.

“Each year, we ask participants for suggestions on topics and speakers, and we follow through as much as possible to provide current content that people are interested in,” Stalder says. “SowBridge provides all participants with the opportunity to hear directly from experts and to contact those experts following the individual sessions.”

Lower registration fee
New this year, the program cost has been set at $200 for the first registration from an entity. As in the past, each subsequent registration from the same entity pays half that amount.

“We recognize the current economic condition of the pork industry and want to encourage participation by all producers,” Stalder says. “By lowering this year’s 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 typically are scheduled for the first Wednesday of every month but occasionally may be moved up 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 in the sessions from anywhere without needing Internet access,” Stalder says.

Distance learning saves time, travel
The distance learning approach allows people to take part without having to travel, take time off from work or worry about weather conditions. During each session, participants can ask questions of the industry expert presenter and discuss with other participants from the comfort of their home, office or swine unit.

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 computer or device. Sessions begin at 11:30 a.m. 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 mailing addresses outside the U.S.

For information about the program or registration, contact Sherry Hoyer at Iowa Pork Industry Center at 515-294-4496 or

Register by Jan. 15
To provide a look at the content of SowBridge sessions, an example video was created using the presentation material and audio recording from a 2017 session where speaker Corinne Bromfield presented, “Identifying Scours.”

The yearlong program is offered by registration only with a Jan. 15 deadline to ensure participants will receive materials for the first session Feb. 6. A brochure with information and a registration form is available at Iowa residents who want more information can call Stalder at 800-808-7675.

Scheduled speakers, topics
Here are the dates, speakers and their industry affiliations, and the topics they will discuss:

· Feb. 6. Patrick Webb, National Pork Board, on “Foreign Animal Disease Awareness”

· March 6. Darwin Tilstra, Topigs Norsvin, on “Selecting Replacement Gilts”

· April 3. Jason Ross, Iowa State University, on “Prolapses”

· May 1. Joel DeRouchey, Kansas State University, on “Timing of Iron Injections”

· May 29. Jesse McCoy, Neogen, on “Water Quality Considerations”

· July 3. Joe Stock, PIC, on “Culling Criteria”

· Aug. 7. Rob Knox, Tim Safranski, and Kara Stewart, on “Dealing with Delayed Puberty in Gilts”

· Sept. 4. Ashley Johnson, Zoetis, on “Making Proper Injections”

· Oct. 2. Ross Kiehne, Swine Vet Center, on “Handling Chronic PEDv”

· Nov. 6. Andréia Gonçalves Arruda, Ohio State University, on “Common Biosecurity Breaches”

· Dec. 4. Kilby Willenburg, Fast Genetics, on “New Repro Technologies”

· Jan. 8, 2020. Jon Hoek, Summit Precision Production, on “Importance of Teamwork”

SowBridge is sponsored by a group of 11 universities, including Iowa State University, from the nation’s major swine producing states.

Source: Iowa State University, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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