PorkBridge Educational Series Returns



AMES, Iowa -- The sixth year of the successful distance education series, PorkBridge, begins June 30. The 2011-2012 lineup includes a variety of 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.

Iowa State University (ISU) Extension swine specialist Ken Stalder 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: at home, in an office or in the swine unit. And audio files from each session can be downloaded for later use.”

PorkBridge combines electronic information viewed on a computer with live presentations delivered by topic experts via phone, Stalder said. About a week before each session, subscribers receive a CD or Web link (depending on their location) that contains that topic’s specific presentation and additional information provided by the presenter. Participants call in for the audio portion of each session and follow along with the presentation on their computer. All sessions begin at noon Central time and last approximately 90 minutes. Time for questions of the presenter is part of each session.

Stalder said the cost to participate in PorkBridge for the 2011-2012 year is $125.

“The amount has not changed since the program began in 2005,” he said. “And, thanks to industry support, this year we are able to offer a $50 discount to the first 100 subscribers, making the cost just $75 for the first 100. In order to qualify for this discount, people need to contact Sherry Hoyer by email at shoyer@iastate.edu to receive an individual registration number to use on their registration form.”

The subscription form and payment must be received by June 15 to assure receipt of program materials in time for the first session on June 30. The series runs through April 2012. An informational brochure with subscription information is available on the Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC) website at www.ipic.iastate.edu/PorkBridge/IPIC2011PB.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.

  • June 30, 2011, Eric Farrand, Pfizer Inc., “How to Most Effectively Identify Pigs Needing Treatment”
  • Aug. 4, 2011, Jay Harmon, Iowa State University, “Energy Use and Conservation in Barns”
  • Oct. 6, 2011, Steve Dritz, Kansas State University, “How Do We Manage Immune-Castrated Pigs?”
  • Dec.1, 2011, Joel Nerem, Pipestone Veterinary Clinic, “Biosecurity for Non-Unit Personnel”
  • Feb. 2, 2012, Robert Thaler, South Dakota State University, “Quality Control When Using Alternative Ingredients”
  • April 5, 2012, Mark Whitney, University of Minnesota, “Tailbiting – Triggers, Prevention and Treatment”

IPIC coordinates all program details, including registration and subscriber mailings. Mark Whitney and Lee Johnston of the University of Minnesota coordinate the PorkBridge program.

IPIC was established in 1994 as a coordinated effort of the college of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the college of Veterinary Medicine at ISU. Its mission is to promote efficient pork production technologies in Iowa, maintain Iowa's pork industry leadership and strengthen rural development efforts. IPIC focuses its efforts on programs that are integral and complementary to ISU Extension. Through IPIC, Iowa producers receive accurate and timely information to make their operations more efficient and profitable.

-30-