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SowBridge Educational Series Begins Fifth Year

26 September 2012, at 8:03am

US - The distance education program SowBridge will begin its fifth year November 7 and Kansas State University animal science professor and extension livestock specialist Joel DeRouchey said suggestions from subscribers help maintain the program’s value.

SowBridge is sponsored by a group of 11 state universities – including K-State – from major swine producing states. It is coordinated by the Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC).

“We asked participants for suggestions on topics and speakers, and are happy to provide current content on topics that people are interested in,“ Mr DeRouchey said. “SowBridge provides all participants with the opportunity to hear directly from experts, and to contact those experts following the individual sessions.“

Mr DeRouchey, who is the Kansas contact for SowBridge, said the program is intended for people who manage or care for boars, sows, and/or their litters, including operation owners, employees, technicians, managers, and technical service providers. SowBridge is designed to improve the understanding and application of various tools and techniques involved in daily care of the breeding herd and piglets.

“People from the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland and West Indies took part in this past year’s programme, and they told us they appreciated having the opportunity for all employees to participate in the sessions without requiring any travel or other expenses,“ he said. “With the live phone presentation and slideshow viewed on computer, participants do not need internet access and can take part from anywhere.“

Farms or companies with more than one location have the opportunity to add locations at a lower rate. Cost is $250 for the first registration from an entity and $125 for each subsequent subscription from the same farm or company. This provides access to one phone line per session and all program materials for each registration. Mr DeRouchey said materials, delivery process, and programme costs are slightly different for those with non-US mailing addresses, and encouraged potential subscribers from outside the US to contact Sherry Hoyer at IPIC by phone at 515-294-4496 or email shoyer@iastate.edu for more information.

Before each session, US 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. Each session begins at 11:30 a.m. Central Time and lasts approximately 45 minutes.

Mr DeRouchey said the yearlong programme is offered by subscription only with an October 15 deadline to ensure participants will receive materials for the first session on November 7.

A brochure with information and a registration form is available on the K-State website under Upcoming Events: http://www.asi.ksu.edu/p.aspx?tabindex=673&tabid=235. Kansas residents who want more information can call DeRouchey at 785-532-2280.

IPIC was established in 1994 as a coordinated effort of the colleges of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University.