John Mabry, Director, Iowa Pork Industry Center
Producers in the state of Iowa market approximately 29 million pigs per year to in state packing plants. The return to these pork producers is in excess of $3 billion/year.
The PQA+ program was developed by the National Pork Board has been demonstrated to have positive effects on animal well-being, food safety, consumer confidence and market penetration. Increasing the participation in this activity by Iowa pig producers will allow this industry the opportunity to respond to concerns of the marketplace and enhance the opportunity to export pork, perhaps adding another $300 million per year to our Iowa rural economies.
Several Iowa livestock packing companies have requested IPIC to provide PQA+ information and training sessions to help ensure that its producer clients would be certified under the national PQA+ programs. IPIC coordinated efforts with ISU Extension to plan, host and present information at a series of delivery opportunities throughout Iowa in 2007, and worked with several packing companies to promote and publicize the certification program. Financial assistance and publicity efforts provided by the packing companies contributed to the success of this joint venture, which drew an average of more than 20 producers per site.
Over 100 Iowa swine industry personnel attended the PQA+ trainer sessions. These clients represented production of more than 15 million market pigs per year with a gross farm income in excess of $2 billion per year. The improvement in animal well-being, swine management, quality control and food safety by the attendees of this event offer the potential to grow the swine industry in the state of Iowa by approximately $300 million/year. This increase in gross farm income is extremely valuable to the goals of rural development and sustainability.
150 Iowa Pork Industry Center
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August 25, 2008
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