Persons involved in managing or caring for boars, sows and/or their litters can learn more about the breeding herd during SowBridge sessions. SowBridge is a year-long education series, which starts Nov. 5, and runs into 2009.

This new SowBridge Breeding Herd Education Series offers timely, relevant and convenient learning opportunities for participants, says Don Levis, University of Nebraska swine specialist.

"Employees, technicians, managers, owners and technical-service providers can all learn to improve the understanding and application of various tools and techniques involved in daily care of the breeding herd and piglets," Levis says. "If you work in or with breeding and gestation units, gilt development systems or farrowing barns, this program is for you."

Each session includes an expert presentation via CD-ROM and a call-in number. Participants will all be connected so that they can participate in the discussion and ask questions in the comfort of their own homes, offices or swine units.

Participation involves just 45 minutes every month. If you miss the first session, you can still participate in future sessions. Programs are delivered at 11:30 a.m. (CST). Session dates are Nov. 5, Dec. 3, 2008, and Jan. 7, Feb. 4, March 4, April 1, May 6, June 10, July 1, Aug. 5, Sept. 2 and Oct. 7, 2009.

SowBridge is modeled after the popular and similar PorkBridge series. It is sponsored by the Extension Service of 11 land-grant universities. The total cost is $250, which includes all 12 sessions and supporting materials.

One week prior to each session, participants will receive a CD in the mail. It contains all session materials, including spreadsheets, video clips, publications and more. On the day of the session, participants just need to call a toll-free number. The only requirement is that participants be able to listen on the telephone while viewing the CD.

To register for SowBridge, contact Sherry Hoyer at the Iowa Pork Industry Center, 109 Kildee, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-3150, call (515) 294-4496, fax (515) 294-5698.

To view a copy of the brochure, click here.

For more information about the topics to be presented, contact Levis at (402) 584-3816.

Source: National Pork Producers Association