Two Transport Quality Assurance adviser training workshops are scheduled for 2010. The first takes place Feb. 23, with the second one on May 11; both will take place at the National Pork Board office in Des Moines, Iowa. The workshops are intended for individuals who want to train and certify producers, transporters and animal handlers in TQA.

TQA certification of transporters delivering hogs is required by major U.S. packers. The program focuses on promoting the well-being of pigs during moving and transport, and on improving the quality of pork and pork products.

These training workshops will certify individuals as TQA advisors, who will then be capable of offering TQA training and certification to producers, handlers and transporters of pigs. Attendees will be updated on issues facing transporters and pork producers today and provide teaching materials and tools that will facilitate information transfer to future TQA-certified individuals.

“Currently, 545 advisers in 31 states have received training for the program.” says Erik Risa, program certification manager for NPB. “It’s important to the TQA program that we have trained advisors located regionally.”

The advise training session takes one day. Thereafter, TQA advisers are encouraged to set up training sessions to certify industry personnel in the program. Advisers often coordinate TQA training sessions through their state pork producer associations. According to Risa, the program has certified a total of nearly 23,000 people, with 9,000 receiving certification in 2009 alone.

“TQA is a vital part of the ‘We Care’ initiative and the program is being widely adopted,” Risa says. “It sends a strong message to our customers about how the U.S. pork industry is committed to our ethical principles and that we care about our animals.”

The individual registration fee is $150. Questions regarding TQA or the workshops can be directed to NPB’s service center at (800) 456-7675.