AMES, Iowa -- Veterinarians and others in Iowa’s pork industry may apply to become Pork Quality Assurance Plus™ Advisors under the National Pork Board's PQA Plus™ program, set to launch at the World Pork Expo this month. The training program is offered by the Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC) at Iowa State University (ISU).
To be certified, participants must attend a daylong training session June 29 in Iowa City and pass an exam at the conclusion of that session. James McKean, associate director of IPIC and ISU Extension swine veterinarian, is coordinating the training. The application deadline is June 19 and a $75 fee is due from approved applicants by June 27.
McKean said applicants 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.
Those who qualify and wish to participate can download, complete and submit the two-page application form available online at http://www.ipic.iastate.edu/pqapapp629.doc The form also is available by fax by calling Jane Runneals at IPIC at (515) 294-4103.
An additional session may be scheduled if the maximum attendance of 30 for this session is reached.
The session will be in the meeting room at the Johnson County Extension Office in Iowa City and will be taught by ISU animal science and veterinary medicine faculty members who are certified PQA Plus™ trainers.
PQA Plus™ was developed by the Pork Industry Animal Care Coalition as a continuous improvement program. The coalition, made up of pork producers, packers/processors, restaurants and food retailers, sought to find a food-industry solution to give consumers confidence that U.S. pork production methods respect 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 an audit opportunity 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