AMES, Iowa — Since 2005, the distance education series PorkBridge has provided relevant and accurate information for those who own, manage or work in swine grow-finish facilities. Iowa State University animal science professor and extension swine specialist Ken Stalder is the Iowa contact for the program which offers participants six opportunities each year to hear from industry experts on topics relevant to those who are involved in grow-finish operations.
The 2019 program begins on Feb. 7 with programs on an every-other-month basis through Dec. 5. A committee of faculty and staff from 11 land grant universities plans the topic and presenter schedule based on current industry needs and trends, and input from participants. Individual sessions start at 11:30 a.m. central time and last no more than an hour.
“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 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 can listen later to the audio we record of each live session.”
PorkBridge session information is provided through electronic materials and live speaker presentation via teleconference. About a week before each session, participants receive a web link to download the session’s presentation and any additional information provided by the presenter. 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. There is also an option to request the electronic materials be mailed via CD.
Stalder said there’s an added incentive to participate this year.
“We’ve lowered the registration price to $100 for the entire series,” he said. “We recognize the challenges and hardships in the industry, and by decreasing the cost $25 we hope people will see even more value in participating.”
As in the past, each subsequent registration from the same entity is half the cost, $50. 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. Anyone with questions, regardless of location, should contact Sherry Hoyer at Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State for more information.
Hoyer can be reached by phone at 515-294-4496 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get an idea of the format and content of PorkBridge sessions, please see the example video created by using the presentation material and audio recording from a 2017 session where speaker Dale Ricker presented “Sights, Sounds and Smells of a Normal Finisher Barn.”
The subscription form and payment must be received by Jan. 15 to assure receipt of program materials in time for the first session on Feb. 7. 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 follow.
Feb. 7 – Patrick Webb, National Pork Board: “Foreign Animal Disease Awareness”
April 4 – Melissa Wilson, University of Minnesota: “Current Manure Value: Getting the Most from Manure”
May 30 – Jesse McCoy, Neogen: “Water Quality Considerations”
Aug. 1 – Dusty Compart and Chris Murphy, Compeer Financial: “Contract Growing: the In's and Out's”
Oct. 3 – Brett Ramirez, Iowa State University: “Controlling Barn Environment”
Dec. 5 – Max Rodibaugh, AMVC: “Timely Intervention of Sick Pigs”
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