AMES, Iowa — SowBridge, the distance educational series for those who work with sows, boars and piglets, and with genetic and reproductive issues, begins its next program year in February. Registration is now underway.
Group of small pigs sleep peacefully on there mother at piglet by didesign/stock.adobe.com.This low-tech opportunity pairs electronically provided materials with live presentations via teleconference. Suggestions from past participants help with planning the next year’s topics and speakers, and maintain the program’s value, according to Ken Stalder, Iowa State University animal science professor and extension swine specialist.
“Each year we ask participants for suggestions on topics and speakers, then follow through as much as possible to provide current content that people are interested in,” Stalder said. “SowBridge provides all participants with the opportunity to hear directly from experts, and to contact those experts following the individual sessions.”
Stalder, who also is the Iowa contact for SowBridge, said registration cost remains at $200 (U.S.) for the first registration from an entity, and each subsequent registration from the same entity is half that amount.
“We recognize the current economic condition of the pork industry, and want to encourage participation by all producers,” Stalder said. “By maintaining this lower registration fee set last year, we hope more people will be able to take part.”
SowBridge is designed to improve the understanding and application of various tools and techniques involved in daily care of the breeding herd and piglets. Sessions are typically scheduled for the first Wednesday of every month but occasionally may be moved a week to avoid interference with national industry events or holidays.
“With the live phone presentation and slideshow available on their computer or other device, participants can take part anywhere without needing internet access,” Stalder said.
The distance learning approach allows people to take part without having to travel, take time from work or worry about weather conditions. During each session, participants can ask questions of the industry expert presenter and discuss with other participants from the comfort of their home, office or swine unit.
Before each session, participants receive a link to download the presentation and any additional information provided by the presenter. Participants call in for the audio portion of each session to listen to the presenter and while following the presentation file on their own computer or device. Sessions begin at 11:30 a.m. Central Time and last no more than an hour.Click here to see more...