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 hosted by the Minnesota Pork Board, National Pork Board’s Pork Checkoff and the University of Minnesota Extension Swine Team.

PQA Plus certification is required for those who provide daily care of pigs, including 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 drivers delivering hogs to the plant and for on-farm animal handlers.

The training sessions are scheduled for:

     • May 23 in Hutchinson, McLeod County Fairgrounds, Commercial Building, 840 Century Avenue
     • June 13 in Worthington, Nobles County Government Center, 315 10th Street
     • June 27 in Waseca, U of M Southern Research and Outreach Center, 35838 120th Street

The PQA Plus training will be from 10:00 a.m. to noon and the TQA training will be from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The times and registration information are the same for all locations.

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.

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.

For additional training locations and dates go to www.mnpork.com.