SowBridge Distance Education Series Resumes

by 5m Editor
3 February 2011, at 12:26am

US - The successful distance education program SowBridge begins its fourth year in March 2011.

Kansas State University animal science professor, Joel DeRouchey, said suggestions from subscribers have improved the programme since its inception.

He said: "We asked participants for suggestions on topics and speakers, and are happy to provide current content on topics that people are interested in. SowBridge provides all participants with the opportunity to hear directly from experts, and to contact those experts following the individual sessions."

Professor DeRouchey, who is a livestock specialist with K-State Research and Extension and the Kansas contact for SowBridge, said the programme is intended for people involved in managing or caring for boars, sows, and/or their litters. That includes 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, Australia, Ireland and West Indies took part in this past year's programme. They told us they appreciated having the opportunity for all employees to participate without requiring travel or other expenses," Professor DeRouchey said. "With the live phone presentation and slide-show viewed on computer, participants do not need Internet access and can take part from anywhere."

Before each session, US subscribers receive a CD containing that session's presentation, along with information on accessing the live speaker presentation. Most participants will call a toll-free conference line to listen to and interact with presenters. Each session begins at 11:30am Central Time and lasts about 45 minutes.

Professor DeRouchey said the year-long programme is offered by subscription only with a deadline of 14 February to ensure participants will receive materials for the first session on 2 March.

New this year is a special rate for operations with more than one location. The cost is US$250 for the first registration from a business and $125 for each subsequent subscription from the same operation. This provides access to one phone line per session and all programme materials for each registration.

A brochure with information and a registration form is available on the K-State web site [click here]. Information for Kansas residents also is available by calling Professor DeRouchey at 785-532-2280 or [email protected].

SowBridge is sponsored by a group of 11 state universities with Mark Whitney and Lee Johnston of the University of Minnesota serving as programme coordinators. The programme is coordinated through Iowa State University.