The Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) will be hosting two training sessions for the Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) on Nov. 27 and the Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) program on Nov. 28.
PQA Plus is the pork industry's program to assure consumers that U.S. producers are delivering a safe and wholesome product and that they are caring for their animals in a socially responsible manner.
Since its introduction in 1989, PQA has been the pork industry's flagship educational and continuous improvement program. Created through the pork checkoff to promote food safety, the program was expanded several years ago to include animal handling practices and renamed PQA Plus.
To attain PQA Plus certification, a pork producer must meet with a trained advisor once every three years to review the 10 Good Production Practices that promote pork safety and animal well-being practices. To achieve site status, a pork operation must have an on-farm assessment of its animal handling practices by a trained assessor.
IPPA and the University of Illinois Extension have teamed up again to offer a training opportunity for individuals wanting to become PQA Plus advisors or for those needing to re-certify. A training session will be held on Nov. 27 at the IPPA office located at 6411 S. 6th St. Rd. in Springfield.
The PQA Plus Advisor training session will begin at 9:30 a.m. and conclude by 2:30 p.m. Cost is $20 per person and includes lunch and all training materials. Registration fee can be paid the day of the training. The training session will be limited to the first 25 people.
Dr. Rob Knox, associate professor at the University of Illinois, will be conducting the training. “We expect our advisors to adhere to strict ethical principles,” Knox said. “The industry is constantly changing and evolving to improve pork production practices. Our advisors must be extremely knowledgeable about these advancements. They serve an important role to help our industry improve and maintain its high standards.”
Knox said those who qualify and are interested in the program should download, complete and submit the two-page application form available online at www.ilpork.com. The form also is available by fax by calling Knox at (217) 244-5177.
To be eligible as a PQA Plus® advisor, people must meet the following qualifications:
1. 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