Pork producers with farrowing operations are invited to participate in the Farrowing Caretaker Interest Group being formed in Iowa. Iowa State University Extension swine field specialist Dave Stender says the effort is an efficient way for conventional farrowers to connect with peers over a large geographical area. The interest group is sponsored by ISU Extension, IowaPorkIndustryCenter and the Iowa Pork Producers Association.

"Through this program, producers and employees receive information on CD-ROMs and participate in three phone-based discussions," says Stender. "You'll need a computer with a CD player to see and hear the home study materials and you'll need access to a phone line for the teleconferences. A separate high-speed Internet connection during the phone conference will be useful, but not essential to participate."

Those with a high-speed Internet connection will have the option to ask questions, chat and view the speakers/slides online during the phone conference. Some producers might not have an Internet connection to view the conference over Internet. In those cases, most ISU Extension county offices have a computer station in their offices available for producers to reserve and use.

Stender says participants should plan to spend approximately 11 to 14 hours in total on the program.

"The group gatherings through the teleconferences are designed to address questions about the provided educational materials and specific farm issues," he says. "Having the opportunity to establish a bond with others who share your interests and challenges at work is motivating."

Cost is $20 per person, which includes all materials and participation in the three teleconferences. Deadline for registration is Nov. 10, with the 90-minute teleconferences set for Nov. 17, Dec. 1 and Dec. 15. Registration is limited to 15 participants.

The registration brochure is available on the IPIC Web site. If you have questions, contact Stender at (712) 225-6196 or by e-mail at dstender@iastate.edu.

In addition to Stender, program leaders are University of Nebraska Extension swine specialist Duane Reese, ISU Extension swine specialist Mark Storlie, and ISU assistant professor of veterinary medicine Locke Karriker.

Source: IowaPorkIndustryCenter