Many state associations are encouraging producers to complete their PQA Plus® site assessments before the Pork Checkoff goal of having all sites assessed by December 2010. To assist with this, many states offer incentives to help producers recognize the urgency in completing their site assessments as soon as possible. 

Creating their own “early deadlines,” some state associations offer monetary incentives for those producers completing site assessments early. The Ohio Pork Producers Council understands the value of the PQA Plus® program and created inventive programs to help producers in their area complete site assessments and certifications. 

As with many states, Ohio feels pressure from packers and decided to offer producers an extra incentive to complete site assessments. Encouraging producers early on, the Ohio Pork Producers Council gave producers a $50 refund to offset some of the costs associated with site assessments. The board originally set a deadline for May 31, 2009, but experienced such success that they found it beneficial to continue the program with a $40 rebate through this September. 

Making the most of their rebate offers, Ohio Pork Board advertised the incentives in their newsletters and e-mails, and made phone calls to specific local producers. Their main focus was to get in front of the leadership of certain organizations and groups within the state. The Ohio Pork Board put action behind their words and set a deadline for all of their board members to personally have all of their sites assessed by September 1. This has helped the Board demonstrate the value in the site assessments through practical leadership, encouraging other producers in the area. 

Even if monetary incentives are not available in your state, continue encouraging producers to act now to avoid higher demand that is expected this fall. As PQA Plus Advisors, your support role to producers is instrumental to their success. Providing as much up-front information and letting producers know that site assessments are not “pass/fail” can ease tensions producers may have. 

For more information about encouraging producers to complete PQA Plus site assessments, contact the Pork Checkoff at (800) 456-PORK.