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Swine Educational Series Offers Flexible Learning, Convenience

Producers received a CD before class and then dial an 800 number to participate.

Don't have a lot of time to attend a seminar or conference, but still interested in gaining knowledge in grow-finish pork production?

An educational series, entitled "PorkBridge," allows pork production owners, managers and employees to increase knowledge and skills in grow-finish production without having to leave the comfort of their home or the farm. The program combines electronic information viewed on computer with live oral presentations via phone by experts in topic areas.

The week before each session, subscribers receive a CD containing that session's topic-specific presentation, along with information on accessing the live speaker presentation. Subscribers call into a toll-free conference line to listen to speakers, and may ask questions anytime during or after the presentation. Each session is 1½ hours in length, beginning either at noon or 7 p.m. CST. In addition, a group discussion email list is available for individuals to post questions between sessions.

Cost for participating in this subscription-only series is $125, which covers materials and phone calls for all six sessions. Multiple individuals can participate at a site, thereby reducing cost per person. Sessions for the upcoming year are:

December 6 - "Swine Manure Application and Crop Responses" - Glen Arnold, Ohio State University
February 7, 2008 - "Porcine Circovirus - What Do We Know and What Can We Do?" - Butch Baker, Iowa State University
April 3 - "Pork Quality - What Producers Should Know" - Steve Moeller, Ohio State University
May 29 - "Use of Large Group Pens and Auto-Sort Technology" - Lee Whittington, Prairie Swine Centre
August 7 - "Properly Walking Pens" - Jeff Feder, Swine Vet Center
October 2 - "Ventilation Basics, Adjustments, and Maintenance" - Stephen Pohl, South Dakota State University

Mark Whitney, University of Minnesota, is the series leader and will be the moderator for all sessions. The PorkBridge program is sponsored by the University of Minnesota, South Dakota State University, Iowa State University, University of Nebraska, and Ohio State University. Those interested in registering can fill out the attached brochure or can directly contact Sherry Hoyer, program coordinator, at (515) 294-4496. For more information, feel free to contact Mark Whitney at (507)389-5541 or whitn007@umn.edu. Registration deadline is November 23.

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