Registrations for two successful distance education programs for specific segments of the pork industry are now open at Iowa State University. SowBridge, for people who work with boars, sows and their litters, begins its sixth year, and PorkBridge, for those affiliated with grow-finish facilities, begins its eighth year, both in early February 2014. Iowa State University (ISU) animal science professor and extension swine specialist Ken Stalder said suggestions from subscribers help maintain the value of both programs for future participants.
“Each year we ask participants in both programs for suggestions on topics and speakers, and are happy to provide current content on topics that people are interested in,” Stalder said. “These programs provide our subscribers with the opportunity to hear directly from experts on topics of current interest, and to contact those experts following the individual sessions.”
Stalder, who also is the Iowa contact for the programs, said the programs offer accurate and timely information on a variety of topics through a regular schedule. In addition, the registration fee has not increased for either program.
“SowBridge participants pay just $250 for the twelve monthly sessions in that program, and PorkBridge costs $125 for the six sessions held every other month for a year,” Stalder said. “And, for each program, entities with more than one location may pay lower fees for each subsequent registration from that same entity.”
Each registration provides access to one phone line per session and all program materials for each registration. Stalder said materials, delivery process, and program costs are slightly different for those with non-U.S. mailing addresses, and encouraged potential subscribers from outside the U.S. to contact Sherry Hoyer at Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC) by phone at 515-294-4496 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Registrations for both programs are due Jan. 15, 2014 to ensure materials receipt for the first session of each.
Before each session, U.S. subscribers receive a CD containing that session’s presentation, along with information on accessing the live speaker presentation. Most participants will call a toll-free conference line to listen to and interact with presenters. SowBridge sessions are held on the first Wednesday of each month at 11:30 a.m. Central Time and lasts approximately 45 minutes. PorkBridge sessions generally are set for the first Thursday of every other month, beginning at noon Central Time and lasting for about 90 min.
One new thing for this year’s schedule is a session to be offered as a joint SowBridge and PorkBridge session. This session, set for Wednesday, June 4, will originate from World Pork Expo with the topic, “The importance of Educating Others about Pork Production.”
Iowa residents who want more information on either program can call IPIC at 800-808-7675.