The Iowa Pork Producers Association is continuing its efforts to get all Iowa pork producers certified in the ‘We Care’ responsible pork initiative’s Pork Quality Assurance Plus and Transport Quality Assurance programs.

To encourage all Iowa pork producers to become certified in the programs IPPA is sponsoring several free certification training sessions around Iowa in late August and September. The sessions will be conducted in association with Iowa State University Extension and the Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State.

“We are fortunate to have the cooperation of our ISU Extension swine specialists to conduct the quality assurance training sessions,” said Tyler Bettin, IPPA producer education director. “We want to give producers every opportunity to complete theses sessions prior to the harvest season.”

The newly developed schedule of sessions will be conducted on the following dates and times at sites around the state.

When:  Wednesday, Aug. 26 - PQA Plus 9:45 a.m. - noon; TQA 1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Where:  Hancock County Extension office, Garner
Contact:  Russ Euken –  (641) 923-2856 or reuken@iastate.edu

When:  Thursday, Aug 27 – PQA Plus 9:45 a.m. - noon; TQA 1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Where:  Story County Extension office, Nevada
Contact:  Terry Steinhart – (800) 515-2680 or tsteinha@iastate.edu

When:  Thursday, Aug. 27 - PQA Plus 9:45 a.m. - noon; TQA 1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Where:  Butler County Extension office, Allison
Contact:  Mark Storlie 319-267-2707 or mstorlie@iastate.edu

When:  Wednesday, Sept. 9 – TQA 10 a.m. - noon; PQA Plus 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Where:  Northwest Iowa Community College, Bldg. A, Room 118, Sheldon
Contact:  Dave Stender – (712) 225-6196 or dstender@iastate.edu

When:  Tuesday, Sept. 15 - PQA Plus 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Where:  Jones County Extension office, Anamosa
Contact:  Larry McMullen – (319) 462-2791 or lkmcmull@iastate.edu

When:  Tuesday, Sept. 15 – PQA Plus 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Where:  Washington County Extension office, Washington
Contact:  Tom Miller - (319) 653-4811 or tmiller@iastate.edu

When:  Tuesday, Sept. 22 – PQA Plus 10 a.m. - noon; TQA 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Where:  Sac County Extension office, Sac City
Contact:  Jerry Weiss – (712) 335-3103 or weissj@iastate.edu

Pre-registration is recommended for all sessions.

The We Care initiative is a joint effort of the Pork Checkoff, through the National Pork Board, and the National Pork Producers Council, to help demonstrate that producers are accountable to established ethical principles and animal well-being practices.

“Participation in We Care helps show our customers that today’s pork producers do what is right for the animals in their care,” Bettin said. “PQA Plus and TQA certification are two key elements within this initiative.”

More than 9,100 Iowa producers and swine employees were certified in PQA Plus and 4,325 had received TQA certification as of July 28, 2009.

Producers interested in additional information about the training programs are encouraged to contact Bettin at (800) 372-7675 or tbettin@iowapork.org.

Source: IPPA