Producers who farrow pigs are invited to participate in the Farrowing Caretaker Interest Group being formed in Iowa.

Iowa State University (ISU) Extension Swine Field Specialist Dave Stender says the program provides an efficient way for conventional farrowers to connect with peers over a large geographical area.

“Through this program, producers and employees receive information on CD-ROMS and participate in three, phone-based discussions,” says Stender. “You’ll need a computer with a CD player to see and hear the home study materials, and you’ll need access to a phone line for the teleconferences. A separate, high-speed Internet connection during the phone conference will be useful, but not essential to participate.”

Those producers with a high-speed Internet connection can ask questions, chat and view the speakers/slides online during the phone conference. For producers who don’t have an Internet connection, most county ISU Extension offices have a computer station that producers can reserve for use during the teleconferences.

“The group gatherings through the teleconferences are designed to address questions about the provided educational materials and specific farm issues,” says Stender. “Having the opportunity to establish a bond with others who share your interests and challenges at work is motivating.”

Cost is $20/person, which includes all materials and participation in the three teleconferences. Deadline for registration is Nov. 10. The 90-minute teleconferences are set for Nov. 17, Dec. 1 and Dec. 15.

Sponsoring the interest group are ISU Extension, Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC) and the Iowa Pork Producers Association.

For registration, go to the IPIC Web site:www.ipic.iastate.edu/information/farrowing.caretaker.pdf For more information, contact Stender by phone (712) 225-6196 or e-mail dstender@iastate.edu

Other program leaders are University of Nebraska Extension Swine Specialist Duane Reese, ISU Extension Swine Specialist Mark Storlie and ISU Assistant Professor of Veterinary Medicine Locke Karriker, DVM.