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. The Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC) at Iowa State University (ISU) will hold one such training Nov. 15.
James McKean, IPIC associate director and ISU Extension swine veterinarian, is coordinating the training to be held in Room 2215 Veterinary Medicine on the Iowa State campus. He said the session will be taught by Iowa State animal science and veterinary medicine faculty members who are certified PQA Plus trainers.
McKean said those who qualify and are interested in the program should download, complete and submit the two-page application form available online at www.ipic.iastate.edu/PQAPapp111511.docx. The form also is available by fax by calling Sunny Hsu at IPIC at 515-294-4103.
“If you’re interested in attending, please let us know by submitting an application as soon as possible, because we likely will not schedule another advisor certification session until 2012." McKean said. "The application deadline is Nov. 8 with the $75 due from approved applicants by the certification session.”
PQA Plus certificate application qualifications
To be eligible to submit an application, people must meet the following qualifications:
- 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
- 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
- Have two years of recent documentable swine production experience.
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 project verification 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/certification/default.aspx.