AMES, Iowa -- Veterinarians and others in Iowa’s pork industry have the opportunity to become Pork Quality Assurance Plus™ Advisors under the National Pork Board's PQA Plus™ program which will be launched at the World Pork Expo in June. The certification process requires attendance at a daylong training session and passing an exam at the conclusion of that session. A training program is being offered by the Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC) at Iowa State University (ISU).
James McKean, associate director of IPIC and ISU Extension swine veterinarian, is coordinating the training to be held May 30. Additional sessions are possible on May 31 and June 1 if demand for the first session exceeds the attendance limit of 30.
To be eligible to submit an application, people must meet the following qualifications:
1. Be a veterinarian, extension specialist or ag educator (defined for this program 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 equivalent) AND
3. Have two years of recent documentable swine production experience.
McKean said those who qualify and are interested in the program should download, complete and submit the two-page application form available online at www.ipic.iastate.edu/PQAPapp.doc The form also is available by fax by calling Jane Runneals at IPIC at (515) 294-4103.
McKean said the session will be held in the Alumni Room at the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine, and will be taught by ISU animal science and veterinary medicine faculty members who are certified PQA Plus™ trainers.
“We have a limit of 30 people per session,” he said. “If you’re interested in attending, please let us know by submitting an application that includes your preferred date as soon as possible. The application deadline is May 21, with the $75 due from approved applicants by May 29.”
PQA Plus™ was developed by the Pork Industry Animal Care Coalition, to be a continuous improvement program. 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 U.S. pork is produced in a way that respects animal well-being. PQA Plus™ merges the food safety and animal well-being concepts of the original PQA program into three steps: individual certification through education, farm site assessment, and the opportunity for audit that gives customer credibility. For more information on PQA Plus ™ contact the National Pork Board at 800-456-PORK, or go to http://www.pork.org/Producers/PQA/PQAPlus.aspx