SowBridge topics for 2014 include preventing or managing porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus at the farm, feeding/management of sows in pens, inducing sows to farrow, picking the right time to cull sows and gilt development to name a few.

Sessions will begin in February.

SowBridge is a successful distance education program that was created five years ago. It is designed as a continual training and learning program for people involved in managing or caring for boars, sows, and/or litters. Participants may be operation owners, managers, employees, technicians or technical service providers. Past participants have been from the United States, Canada, China, Ireland, Australia, and West Indies.

The year-long program is offered by subscription. Cost is $250 for the first registration from an entity and $125 for each subsequent subscription from the same entity. Registration provides access to one phone line per monthly session and all program materials for each session.

Prior to each monthly session, participants receive a CD containing the session’s presentation, along with information to call a toll-free conference line to listen to and interact with presenters.

Anticipated deadline for registration is Jan. 15, 2014 with a target date of Feb. 5, 2014 for the first session of the 2014 SowBridge. Registration materials will be announced in the coming months.

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

For more information, contact Sarah Schieck, Swine Extension Educator, University of Minnesota Extension Regional Center, Morris — (320) 589-1711, schi0466@umn.edu.