The Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) is partnering with the Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC) and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach swine field specialists to offer free training and preparation sessions aimed at helping Iowa pork producers prepare for a Common Swine Industry Audit (CSIA).

Session attendees will have an opportunity to walk through steps of the common audit, evaluate areas for improvement on their farms and customize Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be best prepared for the audit process. Attendees also will be provided a binder and flash drive, including customizable audit materials for their farms, compliments of IPPA, IPIC and the Pork Checkoff.

Training session dates, times and registration information are as follows:

Sessions are limited to 15 participants and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional sessions and locations may be scheduled based on demand. Pre-registration is required and producers are encouraged to commit their attendance, if registering, to ensure effective utilization of the limited space.

It is recommended that producers limit the number of attendees from their farms, or work together at the meetings, to allow for adequate room and materials. Those working with multiple farm-sites or producers should consider sending field staff or individuals that can maximize meeting effectiveness and outreach. A limited number of computers will be provided for attendees. Those attendees with their own laptop computers are encouraged to bring them to the sessions. Producers are reminded to be cognizant of biosecurity and attend the meetings in clean street clothes and footwear.

“We are fortunate to have strong swine resources and outreach from Iowa State University to allow for collaboration on these educational opportunities,” said IPPA President Dave Struthers. “These training sessions and the common audit will continue to demonstrate our industry’s commitment to continuous improvement, social responsibility and production of safe pork.”

At the 2013 National Pork Industry Forum, a producer-directed resolution charged the National Pork Board with exploring a credible, affordable solution to assure on-farm animal well-being while reducing burdens of multiple audits and improving audit expectations and consistency. This spawned the Industry Audit Task Force, which included producers, veterinarians, animal scientists, retail and foodservice personnel and packer representatives. IPPA delegates passed a similar resolution at their annual meeting in January 2013.

“Industry stakeholders needed a consistent, reliable and verifiable way to assure on-farm animal well-being and pre-harvest food safety,” said National Pork Board President Dale Norton. “It was important to eliminate duplication and administrative burdens placed on producers.”

The goal was to develop a consensus on consistent on-farm auditing standards using the Pork Quality Assurance® Plus and Transport Quality Assurance® programs as a foundation. The result is the Common Swine Industry Audit, which was announced at the 2014 World Pork Expo. It has been tested on farms and is now ready to be implemented by producers and packers across the country.

“The common audit incorporates scientific evidence, ethics and economics, which must be balanced for the pork industry to remain sustainable,” said Sherrie Webb, the Pork Checkoff’s animal welfare director. “As a third-party audit, it provides assurance of farmers’ and processors’ commitment to animal well-being and pre-harvest food safety.”

For more information, please contact IPPA at (515) 225-7675 or e-mail tbettin@iowapork.org