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. The certification process requires attendance at a daylong training session and passing an exam at the conclusion of that session. One such training program being offered by the Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC) at Iowa State University (ISU) is scheduled for this month.
James McKean, IPIC associate director and ISU Extension swine veterinarian, is coordinating the training to be held Jan. 22 in Kildee Hall on the ISU campus. This date was scheduled due to a similar training being cancelled in December.
“It’s been several months since we held a training session and know there are many people wanting to become certified,” he said. “We’re offering this training to help meet the need for approved PQA Plus™ advisors.”
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 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 program should download, complete and submit the two-page application form available online at http://www.ipic.iastate.edu/PQAPapp12209.doc The form also is available by fax from Jane Runneals by calling IPIC at (515) 294-4103.
McKean said the session will be taught by ISU animal science and veterinary medicine faculty members who are certified PQA Plus™ trainers.
“If you’re interested in attending, please let us know by submitting an application as soon as possible," he said. "We have moved the deadline back slightly to accommodate more people, but we would like to receive your application no later than Jan. 15.”
Applicants will be notified of the status of their application, and the $75 fee will be due from approved applicants by the program date.
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/PQAP.aspx?c=PQAP