The first of 12 monthly SowBridge 2015 distance education sessions is Feb. 4, and organizers are encouraging quick signups so subscribers will have the materials they need in time for the first session. The programs, designed for anyone who is managing sows, boars or pig litters, include information on swine identification; PEDv; temperature management of sows and piglets; on-farm necropsies; fostering litters; feeding the lactating and weaning sow; and more.

Produced through a collaboration of 11 land-grant universities including Kansas State University, SowBridge includes the latest information on sows, boars and litters. Presentations are delivered electronically through 12 Wednesday sessions.

Participants can take part where it works best for them—at home, in an office or in the swine unit, said Joel DeRouchey, livestock specialist with K-State Research and Extension. Audio files from each session also can be downloaded for later use.

SowBridge combines electronic information viewed on a computer with live presentations by topic experts via telephone, so no Internet access is necessary at the time of the presentation. About a week before each session, subscribers receive a web link (depending on their location) with 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. Each 45-minute session starts at 11:30 a.m. Central time.

The fee to participate is $250 for the full year. Additional subscriptions from the same business are available at half the cost.

An informational brochure with subscription information is available on the K-State Research and Extension website at under “Upcoming Events.” Kansas residents who want more information may contact DeRouchey at 785-532-2280 or Information for producers outside Kansas is available by contacting Sherry Hoyer at or 515-294-4496.

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