MANHATTAN, Kan. -- The distance educational series, PorkBridge, will begin its fifth year in June. Driven by popular demand, the PorkBridge 2010-2011 educational series features new topics focused on the grow-finish segment of the pork production chain. PorkBridge is sponsored and coordinated by eleven land-grant institutions across the United States.

"PorkBridge provides relevant and accurate information on specific topics to people who own, manage or work in swine grow-finish facilities," said Kansas State University Extension livestock specialist Joel DeRouchey. "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."

DeRouchey, who is the Kansas contact for PorkBridge, said the program is provided through a unique delivery method which combines electronic information viewed on a computer with live oral presentations by topic experts via telephone. The week before each session, subscribers receive a CD containing that session´s topic- specific presentation and additional information. Each session is about 90 minutes, beginning at noon Central time.

One of the best reasons to participate is the continued low cost of the program, DeRouchey said.

"We´re happy to be able to keep the cost for participating in this subscription-only series at $125, the same as the very first year,"
he said. "This covers materials and phone calls for all six sessions, which are scheduled on an every other month basis from June 2010 through April 2011. People who plan to participate need to enroll by May 25, 2010 in order to participate in the first session on June 10."

An informational brochure with subscription information is available at Kansas residents who want more information can contact DeRouchey at 785-532-2280 or

Session dates, speakers, their industry affiliations and topics are as follows.

* June 10, 2010, Bob Thaler, South Dakota State University - "Mycotoxins -- What We´ve Learned and What You Need to Know"

* August 5, 2010, Larry Jacobson and David Schmidt, University of Minnesota - "Current Understanding on Pit Foaming, Barn Explosions, and Safety Precautions"

* October 7, 2010, Mike Brumm, Brumm Swine Consultancy, Inc. - "Preparing Your Ventilation and Heating Systems for Winter´s Challenges"

* December 9, 2010, Allan Evers, Cooper Farms, and Matt Ritter, Elanco Animal Health - "Going Hot-Shot Free: Tips to Improve Hog Handling"

* February 3, 2011, Michelle Sprague, AMVC Management Services - "Euthanasia Techniques, Tools, and Protocols"

* April 7, 2011, Jennifer Greiner, National Pork Producers Council - "National Update on the Livestock Antibiotic Use Issue"

Source: Kansas State University Research and Extension