The final Pork Quality Assurance Plus Advisor Certification session in 2011 offered by the Iowa Pork Industry Center will be held November 15, and IPIC associate director Jim McKean is urging people to submit their applications before the November 8 deadline. "If you're interested in attending, please check the qualification requirements and submit your application soon," he says. "There is a limit on the number of attendees and not everyone is guaranteed a spot."
To become certified, attendance at the day-long training session and passing an exam given at the conclusion of the session are required. To be eligible to submit an application, people must meet the following qualifications:
Be a veterinarian, extension specialist or agriculture educator (defined for this program as a person who spends full time in adult education or at least half time in production training), and
Have a D.V.M. or B.S. in animal science or an equivalent combination of education and swine production experience as determined by the PQA Plus trainer reviewing the application, and
Have two years of recent documentable swine production experience.
Those who qualify and are interested in the program should download, complete and submit the two-page application form available online at www.ipic.iastate.edu/PQAPapp111511.docx. The form also is available by fax by calling Sunny Hsu at IPIC at 515-294-4103. If interested in attending, submit the application as soon as possible. Applications are due on November 8, with $75 due from approved applicants by the certification session on November 15.
PQA Plus was developed by the Pork Industry Animal Care Coalition to be a continuous improvement program. The coalition, made up of pork producers, packers/processors, restaurants and food retailers, dedicated itself to finding a food-industry solution that would give confidence to consumers that U.S. pork is produced in a way that respects animal well-being.PQA Plus merges the food safety and animal well-being concepts of the original PQA program into three steps: individual certification through education, farm site assessment and the opportunity for project verification that gives customer credibility. For more information on PQA Plus contact the National Pork Board at 800-456-PORK or go to www.pork.org/certification/default.aspx.