Learning opportunities abound today, and thanks to technology you don’t even have to leave your house or business to participate.           

The National Pork Board is joining the e-learning sector with a new program of its own. The e-learning program will support NPB’s “education certificate program,” which will be announced this fall.

“The intent is to have courses that can be taught in a group setting or can be experienced individually,” says David Meisinger, NPB’s assistant vice president of educational services. The sessions will be accessible via CD-Rom or the Internet. “We hope the courses or modules will be used for on-farm employee training, and also by managers.”

A handful of sessions are already completed, but Meisinger says 15 to 20 such e-learning programs will be available by early next year. The first set includes farrowing management, segregated early weaning nursery management, the breeding herd, grow/finish management, risk management, business strategies, human resources and NPB’s Swine Animal Welfare Program.

“We will follow with sections such as disease problem solving, environmental troubleshooting, pork quality and developing a business plan, among others,” he notes.

The producer, manager or employee will be able to work through the program at his or her own pace. There will be a registration procedure, and a certification opportunity for the participant. “But individuals can take the course when and where they want, and take as long as they want,” says Meisinger. All you will need is a computer with a CD-drive and/or an Internet connection.

The courses will have a retail value, he points out, but the actual price structure has yet to be determined.

For more information, you may contact Meisinger at (515) 223-2600 or e-mail him at David.Meisinger@porkboard.org