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PorkBridge, SowBridge program registrations due today

WILLMAR, Minn. — Registration for both PorkBridge and SowBridge distance education programs is now open.

PorkBridge begins its 11th year and is aimed at those who own, manage or work in swine grow-finish facilities. SowBridge begins its 9th year and is for people involved in managing or caring for sows, and/or their litters, and boars, including operation owners, employees, technicians, managers, and technical service providers.

Both programs begin in early February. Registration is due Jan. 16 to ensure materials are received for the first session. Registration materials can be found at the UMN Swine Extension website:

University of Minnesota Swine Extension Educator Sarah Schieck said in a news release that the programs offer accurate and timely information on a variety of topics through a regular schedule.

"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," Schieck said. "Participants in the PorkBridge and SowBridge programs can take part where it works best for them whether at home, in an office or in the swine unit. And whether or not they can participate in the live session, all sessions are recorded and audio files are available for download from each session for later use."

PorkBridge program includes six sessions offered on the first Thursday of every other month starting in February. All sessions start at noon and, based on participant suggestion, will last a maximum of 60 minutes, which includes time for questions. Cost is $125 for the series.

SowBridge program includes 12 monthly sessions throughout the year on the first Wednesday of the month. All sessions start at 11:30 a.m. and last no longer than 60 minutes, which includes time for questions. Cost is $250 for the first registration from an entity and $125 for each subsequent registration from the same entity.

A list of session dates, topics, speakers and their industry affiliation are available on the UMN Swine Extension website.

Before each session, subscribers will receive an email message with links to download the materials for that session. Those who request it also receive the same materials via mailed CD. During scheduled time, participants call in to listen to and interact with the presenter.

PorkBridge and SowBridge are sponsored by a group of 11 universities with Sarah Schieck and Lee Johnston of the University of Minnesota Extension serving as program coordinators. Iowa Pork Industry Center coordinates all registration and subscriber mailings.

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