Veterinarians and others in Iowa’s pork industry have the opportunity to become Pork Quality Assurance Plusâ„¢ Advisors under the National Pork Board’s PQA Plusâ„¢ programme.
The certification process requires attendance at a daylong training session and passing an exam at the conclusion of that session. One such training programme is being offered by the Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC) at Iowa State University (ISU).
James McKean, IPIC associate director and ISU Extension swine veterinarian, is coordinating the training to be held May 7 at the Quality Inn, 2601 East 13th St. in Ames.
To be eligible to submit an application, the following qualifications must be met:
1. Be a veterinarian, extension specialist or agricultural educator (defined for this programme as a person who spends full time in adult education or at least half time in production training) AND
2. Have a D.V.M. or B.S. in animal science or an equivalent combination of education and swine production experience as determined by the PQA Plus trainer reviewing the application AND
3. Have two years of recent documentable swine production experience.
McKean said those who qualify and are interested in the programme should download, complete and submit the two-page application form available online.
PQA Plusâ„¢ was developed by the Pork Industry Animal Care Coalition, to be a continuous improvement programme. The coalition, made up of pork producers, packers/processors, restaurants and food retailers, dedicated itself to finding a food-industry solution that would give confidence to consumers that US pork is produced in a way that respects animal well-being. PQA Plusâ„¢ merges the food safety and animal well-being concepts of the original PQA programme into three steps: individual certification through education, farm site assessment, and the opportunity for audit that gives customer credibility.