With the advent of the Pork Quality Assurance PQA Plus program earlier this year, pork producers are encouraged to learn about the program and how it fits in their pork production future. Iowa State University Extension swine specialist Colin Johnson says a new fact sheet designed to help producers understand the unique aspects of the program is now available online.
"The fact sheet helps alleviate confusion as producers make a transition from former programs to PQA Plus, he says. "It uses a question and answer format so producers can easily find answers to the questions they're asking."
The one-page fact sheet is a cooperative effort between Iowa Pork Industry Center or IPIC and Iowa Pork Producers Association and is available on the IPIC Web site at www.ipic.iastate.edu/information/PQAPlus.factsheet.pdf.
Johnson, who is on the IPIC staff, says the new PQA Plus program combines aspects from both the former PQA Level III program and Swine Welfare Assurance Program, or SWAP, with a new approach. "For example, PQA Plus is voluntary and producer certification will be for three years, just like for the other programs," he notes. "Current PQA certification is valid until its expiration, at which time the hog producer will need to go through the PQA Plus certification process."
IPIC was established in 1994 as a coordinated effort of the colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Veterinary Medicine at ISU. Its mission is to promote efficient pork production technologies in Iowa, maintain Iowa's pork industry leadership and strengthen rural development efforts. IPIC focuses its efforts on programs that are integral and complementary to ISU Extension. Through IPIC, Iowa producers receive accurate and timely information to make their operations more efficient and profitable.