In order to accommodate tremendous industry demand, the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization, Inc. (PAACO) has added a second fall session of its popular Meat Plant Welfare Auditor Certification course. The 2-day event will be held Nov. 13-14 in Denison, Iowa, in cooperation with Farmland Foods and Tyson Beef plants.

The organization usually schedules two meat plant trainings a year (one in the spring and one in the fall), but the initial fall course in Crete and Fremont, Nebraska, filled within four days of opening registration, leaving many would-be trainees on a wait list. 

“We approached Farmland and Tyson with the prospect of offering another class,” says PAACO Executive Director Mike Simpson, “They have graciously agreed to host the hands-on portion in mid-November. We are grateful for their willingness to cooperate with us to accommodate another 25 auditors-in-training. Hormel was also willing to assist us as necessary.”

The 2-day course will be taught by several meat industry professionals in both a classroom and “real-life” setting at the packing plants. Attendees must pass a test on the course materials in order to move on to the “shadow” phase of the certification process.

Instructors will be Dr. Lily Edwards-Callaway, animal welfare specialist with JBS Swift; Ann McDonald, manager of animal welfare and PVP for Farmland Foods; Dr. Kellye Pfalzgraf, director of the office of animal well-being at Tyson Foods, Inc.; and Dr. Mike Siemens, leader of animal welfare and husbandry for Cargill.  

Registration deadline is Oct. 18 and class size is limited to 25, on a first-come, first-served basis.  Registration materials are available on the PAACO website,, or by contacting Mike Simpson at 402-403-0104, e-mail