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- Eastern Iowa producers who need PQA Plus certification in the near future should consider a session set for Feb. 16 at the Cedar County Extension office. Iowa State swine program specialist Tom Miller will lead the session beginning at 1:30 p.m. You can pay the $25 fee onsite, but be sure to preregister to assure adequate materials.
- Iowa Pork Industry Center is planning a Pork Quality Assurance advisor certification session for Feb. 13 in Ames. Because the program was completely revised in 2016 attendance at a daylong session and passing an exam at the end of the session is required. Also, applications must be approved and the $75 fee paid in order to attend. Don't delay -- applications are due Feb. 2 or when the 30-person limit is reached.
- A dozen years after its inception as a pilot project, PorkBridge is still going strong. The low-tech delivery method brings the expertise of industry and academic experts to the farm via downloaded materials and teleconferences, thanks to an organizing committee from 11 universities with swine faculty and staff. No travel needed and the price is the same as the first year. IPIC's Ken Stalder says this year's agenda has great topics and presenters.
- The successful distance education program, SowBridge, begins its tenth year in February. ISU animal science professor and extension swine specialist Ken Stalder said the program is designed to improve the understanding and application of various tools and techniques involved in daily care of the breeding herd and piglets. Operation owners, employees, technicians, managers and technical service providers are encouraged to consider registering. The first session is Feb. 7.
- A new "Crush Margin" app for swine and beef producers is now available. The app was developed as part of a North Central Region Risk Management Education grant for livestock price risk management education, and uses data from the ISU Livestock Crush Margin website. ISU extension livestock specialist Russ Euken and ISU Extension livestock economist Lee Schulz developed the app to assist producers in evaluating margins and taking advantages of profitable opportunities.
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