AMES, Iowa -- With the advent of the Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) PlusTM program earlier this summer, pork producers are encouraged to learn about the program and how it fits in their pork production future. Iowa State University (ISU) Extension program specialist Colin Johnson said a new factsheet designed to help producers understand the unique aspects of the program is now available online.
“The factsheet is designed to alleviate confusion as producers make a transition from former programs to PQA PlusTM,” Johnson said. “It uses a question and answer format so producers can easily find answers to the questions they’re asking.”
The one-page factsheet is a cooperative effort between Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC) and Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) and is available on the IPIC Web site at www.ipic.iastate.edu/information/PQAPlus.factsheet.pdf.
Johnson, who is on the IPIC staff, said the new PQA PlusTM program combines aspects from both the former PQA Level III program and Swine Welfare Assurance Program (SWAP) with a new approach.
“For example, PQA PlusTM is voluntary and producer certification will be for three years, just like for the other programs,” he said. “Current PQA certification is valid until its expiration, at which time the producer will need to go through the PQA PlusTM certification process.”
IPIC was established in 1994 as a coordinated effort of the colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Veterinary Medicine at ISU. Its mission is to promote efficient pork production technologies in Iowa, maintain Iowa's pork industry leadership and strengthen rural development efforts. IPIC focuses its efforts on programs that are integral and complementary to ISU Extension. Through IPIC, Iowa producers receive accurate and timely information to make their operations more efficient and profitable.