SowBridge educational series builds on subscriber input
The successful distance education program SowBridge begins its fourth year in March, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension swine specialist Duane Reese said suggestions from subscribers help maintain the program's value.
"We asked participants for suggestions on topics and speakers and are happy to provide current content on topics that people are interested in," Reese said. "SowBridge provides all participants with the opportunity to hear directly from experts, and to contact those experts following the individual sessions."
Reese, who also is the Nebraska contact for SowBridge, said the program is intended for people involved in managing or caring 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 program, 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."
Something new this year is a special rate for entities with more than one location. Cost is $250 for the first registration from an entity and $125 for each subsequent subscription from the same entity.
This provides access to one phone line per session and all program materials for each registration.
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. Each session begins at 11:30 a.m. Central Time and lasts approximately 45 minutes.
Reese said the year-long program is offered by subscription only with a Feb. 14 deadline to ensure participants will receive materials for the first session on March 2.
A brochure with information and a registration form is at www.ipic.iastate.edu/SowBridge/2011BrochureIPIC.pdf. For more information, call Reese at 402-472-6425.
SowBridge is sponsored by a group of 11 state universities with Mark Whitney and Lee Johnston of the University of Minnesota serving as program coordinators. The program is coordinated through Iowa State University.
UNL Extension is in the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.