PorkBridge Educational Series Returns in December

AMES, Iowa – The seventh year of the successful distance education series, PorkBridge, begins Dec. 6. The 2012-2013 program 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 Extension and Outreach 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 whether at home, in an office or in the swine unit. And all of them can download audio files from each session for later use.”

Stalder, who also is a swine specialist with Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State, 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 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. Each session includes time for questions of the presenter.

“The course fee has not changed since the program began in 2005, and is a great deal at $125 for the entire year,” Stalder said.

The subscription form and payment must be received by Nov. 12 to assure receipt of program materials in time for the first session on Dec. 6. An informational brochure with subscription information is available on the IPIC Web site at www.ipic.iastate.edu/PorkBridge/IPIC2012PB.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.

  • Dec. 6, 2012 – John Patience, Iowa State University, “Strategies to Reduce Feed Costs”
  • Feb. 7, 2013 – Mike Ellis, University of Illinois, “Optimizing Stocking Density in Wean-Finish Barns”
  • April 4, 2013 – Aaron Gaines, the Maschhoffs, “Managing Finishing Pigs to Improve Production Efficiency”
  • June 6, 2013 – Mark Whitney, University of Minnesota, “Managing Heat Stress”
  • Aug. 1, 2013 – Mike Tokach and Hyatt Frobose, Kansas State University, “Effect of Optimizing Feed Withdrawal Length and Fiber Levels Prior to Marketing on Net Return”
  • Oct. 3, 2013 – Andrew Bowman, The Ohio State University “Pigs, Flu and You”

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 and Outreach. Through IPIC, Iowa producers receive accurate and timely information to make their operations more efficient and profitable.