PQA Plus and the Transport Quality Assurance program are part of the We Care responsible pork initiative established by the National Pork Board and National Pork Producers Council. Through this initiative pork producers demonstrate their commitment to safe food, animal well-being, public health, the environment, employees and their local communities.
PQA Plus certification reminds pork producers how to use antibiotics responsibly, maintain adequate records and provide proper care to ensure animal well-being.
“The producers I’m working with are already doing those things and the documentation being requested is above and beyond their normal routine,” says Dave Stender, an Iowa State University Extension swine specialist who has facilitated many PQA Plus training sessions. “It proves they’re willing to go the extra mile to ensure that pork production is animal welfare-friendly and a safe product is produced.”
The two-part PQA Plus program starts with producers receiving individual certification by meeting and reviewing 10 good production practices with a certified advisor. Once a producer receives certification he/she is asked to complete a PQA Plus Site Assessment to achieve site status. As part two, a PQA Plus advisor — often a livestock veterinarian or Extension specialist — evaluates the producer’s operation and makes any necessary recommendations to improve facilities, record keeping, air quality and animal well-being on the farm. Individual certification and site assessments must be completed every three years to maintain PQA Plus certification and site status.
“More than 1,300 pork production sites in
Additionally, nearly 5,100 individuals in
“I believe [the certifications] shows the commitment of our pork producers to the industry and that they’re doing the right thing, taking care of the animals, the environment and producing a safe, wholesome product for consumers,” says Tim Bierman, National Pork Board president, a PQA Plus-certified producer from Larrabee, Iowa.
IPPA and NPB are encouraging all producers to become PQA Plus-certified and achieve PQA Plus site status prior to
Source: Iowa Pork Producers Association