The 2012-2013 program lineup includes a variety of intriguing 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.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension swine specialist Duane Reese is the Nebraska 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," Reese 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."
The Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources specialist 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 amount has not changed since the program began in 2005, and is a great deal at $125 for the entire year," Reese 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 Iowa Pork Industry Center's website at www.ipic.iastate.edu/PorkBridge/IPIC2012PB.pdf. Nebraska residents who want more information can call Reese at 402-472-6425.
Session dates, speakers, their industry affiliations and topics are as follows.
Dec. 6 – John Patience, Iowa State University, "Strategies to Reduce Feed Costs"
Feb. 7 – Mike Ellis, University of Illinois, "Optimizing Stocking Density in Wean-Finish Barns"
April 4 – Aaron Gaines, The Maschhoffs, "Managing Finishing Pigs to Improve Production Efficiency"
June 6 – Mark Whitney, University of Minnesota, "Managing Heat Stress"
Aug. 1 – 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 – 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