Organizers of the SowBridge educational series have announced the schedule and topics for the distance learning program for pork producers. The information you receive through this program will improve your understanding and increase productivity in breeding herds and farrowing systems.

SowBridge delivers timely and relevant information in a convenient manner. The lineup features top industry educators and production experts and will consist of 12 informative programs beginning Nov. 7.

Program sessions are held over the midday period to maximize learner participation while minimizing interruption of the normal daily work schedule. Prior to each session, participants will receive a packet with session materials on CD and instruction letter. Material include presentation and any spreadsheets, video clips, publications, etc. provided by the speaker. (The delivery process is slightly different for non-U.S. mailing addresses.)

SowBridge 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.

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

Nov. 7, 2012 - Effect of increasing lactation length on productivity and weaned pig cost - Steve Dritz, Kansas State University

Dec. 5, 2012 - Welfare and productivity issues when using pen gestation systems - Ashley DeDecker, Murphy Farms

Jan. 2, 2012 - Pooling semen - all boars are not created equal - Amanda Minton, PIC

Feb. 6, 2013 - Employee's role in biosecurity - Beth Ferry, Michigan State University

March 6, 2013 - Adding value to cull sows - Ken Stalder, Iowa State University

April 3, 2013 - Solving the heat stress problem - Tim Safranski, University of Missouri

May 1, 2013 - Vitamin D for sows - Merlin Lindeman, University of Kentucky

June 5, 2013 - A review on vaccinations - Butch Baker, Iowa State University

July 3, 2013 – Litter size and piglet birth weights - Mark Knauer, North Carolina State University

Aug. 7, 2013 - Single service insemination technology - Rob Knox, University of Illinois

Sept. 4, 2013 - Energy Efficiency for the Swine Operation - Jay Harmon, Iowa State University

Oct. 2, 2013 - Economic impact of transitioning from stalls to pen gestation housing - Brian Buhr, University of Minnesota

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

Cost is $250 for first entity registration and $125 for each subsequent subscription from same entity, which includes supporting materials and one phone line per session.

For more information, contact Mark Whitney, Extension program Leader at (507) 389-5541 or email