Organizers of the PorkBridge educational series have announced the schedule and topics for the distance learning program for pork producers. The lineup features top industry educators and production experts and will consist of six informative programs beginning Dec. 6.

PorkBridge is a distance educational program that provides relevant and timely information to those involved with grow-finish swine operations. The series is presented by swine specialists from cooperating land grant universities.

Each session of  PorkBridge addresses daily decisions related to the grow-finish process, including:

- feeding strategies and management
- animal handling
- animal health
- facility ventilation

PorkBridge participants will have access to university and industry professionals with a variety of expertise with no need to worry about time off for travel. You can participate in the session wherever it best suits your schedule: at your home, office or swine unit. Participants will gain valuable information to improve their operation through direct access to professionals.

PorkBridge dates, topics and presenters for the upcoming sessions are:

Dec 6, 2012 - Strategies to reduce feed costs - John Patience, Iowa State University
Feb 7, 2013 - Optimizing stocking density in wean-finish barns - Mike Ellis, University of Illinois
April 4, 2013 - Managing finishing pigs to improve production efficiency - Aaron Gaines, The Maschhoffs
June 6, 2013 - Managing heat stress - Mark Whitney, University of Minnesota
Aug. 1, 2013 - Effect of optimizing feed withdrawal length and fiber levels prior to marketing on net return - Mike Tokach and Hyatt Frobose, Kansas State University
Oct. 3, 2013 – Pigs, Flu, and You- Andrew Bowman, The Ohio State University

Ken Stalder, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach swine specialist, is the Iowa contact for PorkBridge. He said the distance education series provides 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,” Stalder 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.”

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. 

Cost is $125 for the series, which includes supporting materials and one phone line per session. An informational brochure with subscription information is available on the IPIC website.  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.

To participate in the PorkBridge sessions you will need telephone access and a computer with CD drive. Internet access is not needed to participate.

For more information on the PorkBridge sessions, contact Sherry Hoyer, Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State University at (515) 294-4496 or email