Pork producers and livestock transporters can earn their certifications for Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) and Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) at free training sessions on:

• July 18 in Mankato at the Minnesota Pork Office, 151 Saint Avenue Court, Suite 810

• Aug. 15 in Rochester at the Heintz Center on the University Center Rochester Campus, 1926 College View Road Southeast

• Aug. 29 in Marshall at the AmericInn, 1406 East Lyon Street

The PQA Plus training will be from 10:00 a.m. to noon and the TQA training will be from 1:00-3:30 p.m.

To assure adequate seating and materials, preregistration is strongly encouraged. To preregister, telephone the Minnesota Pork Board office at (800) 537-7675 or email colleen@mnpork.com. When preregistering, provide your name, address, telephone number and email, if available.

PQA Plus is required for those who provide daily care of pigs, such as owners, managers and employees, as a condition of sale by nearly all packers. The minimum age for PQA Plus certification eligibility is 14.

TQA training is also a common hog packer requirement for the drivers delivering hogs to the plant and for on-farm animal handlers.

Pork producers can check their PQA Plus and TQA certification status by calling the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675. Contact your hog buyer/packer for their specific PQA Plus certification, PQA Plus Site Status and TQA certification requirements.

PQA Plus and TQA training sessions are hosted by the Minnesota Pork Board, Pork Checkoff and University of Minnesota Extension Swine Team. For additional training locations and dates go to www.mnpork.com.