SowBridge Educational Series Offers Ninth Year of Quality Programming

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SowBridgeAMES, Iowa -- The successful distance education program SowBridge begins its ninth year in February 2017 and Iowa State University animal science professor and extension swine specialist Ken Stalder said continuing suggestions from subscribers help maintain the program’s value.

“Each year we ask participants for suggestions on topics and speakers, and follow through as much as possible to provide current content that people are interested in,” Stalder said. “SowBridge provides all participants with the opportunity to hear directly from experts, and to contact those experts following the individual sessions.”

Stalder, who also is the Iowa contact for SowBridge, said the program is intended for people involved in managing or caring for boars, sows, and/or their litters, including operation owners, employees, technicians, managers, and technical service providers. SowBridge is designed to improve the understanding and application of various tools and techniques involved in daily care of the breeding herd and piglets.

“People from the United States, Canada, and Ireland took part in the 2016 program, and they told us they appreciated having the opportunity to participate in these learning opportunities without requiring any travel or other expenses,” he said. “With the live phone presentation and slideshow viewed on computer, participants do not need internet access and can take part from anywhere.”

Before each session, subscribers receive details on accessing the speaker’s presentation online. Those who request it also receive a CD containing that session’s presentation. For the session itself, most participants will call a toll-free conference line to listen to and interact with presenters. Each session begins at 11:30 a.m. Central Time and lasts approximately 45 minutes.

Cost is $250 ($U.S.) for the first registration from an entity but those with more than one location have the opportunity to add additional locations at a lower rate. That cost is $125 for each subsequent subscription from the same entity. The cost provides access to one phone line per session and all program materials for each registration. Stalder said materials, delivery process, and program costs are slightly different for those with non-U.S. mailing addresses, and encouraged potential subscribers from outside the U.S. to contact Sherry Hoyer at Iowa Pork Industry Center by phone at 515-294-4496 or email for more information.

The yearlong program is offered by subscription only with a Jan. 16, 2017 deadline to ensure participants will receive materials for the first session on Feb. 1. A brochure with information and a registration form is available on the IPIC Web site at Iowa residents who want more information can call Stalder at 800-808-7675.

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

  • February 1 - Chris Rademacher, Iowa State University, “VFD Compliance in Barn”
  • March 1 - Lee Johnston, University of Minnesota, “New Management Guides for Sow Gestation Housing”
  • April 5 - Corrine Bromfield, University of Missouri, “Identifying Scours”
  • May 3 - Tim Safranski, University of Missouri, “Hidden Impact of Heat Stress on Pregnant Sows and Their Piglets”
  • May 31 - Leon Sheets, Iowa pork producer, “Responding to On-Farm Disasters” (June session)
  • July 5 - Todd Stumpf, DNA Genetics, “Managing Large Litters”
  • August 2 - Christina Phillips, Smithfield, “On-Farm Research”
  • September 6 - Spencer Wayne, Pipestone Veterinary Services, “Struggling to Get Back to Pre-PEDv Production”
  • October 4 - Kara Stewart, Purdue University, “Importance of Colostrum”
  • November 1 - Brian Richert, Purdue University, “Decision Making for Fallback Pigs”
  • December 6 - Todd Price, North Central Veterinary Services, “Sow Prolapses: How to Handle/Repair”
  • January 3, 2018 - Jason Ross, Iowa State University, “Vulva Size as Part of Replacement Gilt Criteria”

SowBridge is sponsored by a group of 11 state universities - including Iowa State - from the major swine producing states.


IPIC was established in 1994 as a coordinated effort of the colleges of Agriculture (now Agriculture and Life Sciences) and Veterinary Medicine at ISU. Its mission is to promote efficient pork production technologies in Iowa, maintain Iowa's pork industry leadership and strengthen rural development efforts. IPIC focuses its efforts on programs that are integral and complementary to ISU Extension and Outreach. Through IPIC, Iowa producers receive accurate and timely information to make their operations more efficient and profitable.

Ken Stalder, Iowa State University,, 515-294-4683

Sherry Hoyer, Iowa State University,, 515-294-4496


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