People who become certified as Pork Quality Assurance Plus Advisors under the National Pork Board's PQA Plus program are required to recertify every three years. That means those certified during the initial training period in 2007 and early 2008 need to complete a recertification training and testing session now. The Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State University has scheduled a recertification session for March 29 in Ames.
James McKean, IPIC associate director and ISU Extension swine veterinarian, says the session will be taught by ISU animal science and veterinary medicine faculty members who are certified PQA Plus trainers.
Session is limited to the first 30 participants to preregister
"The session is limited to the first 30 participants who preregister and pay the recertification fee of $50 per person," McKean says. "Preregistration is strongly encouraged by March 22 to ensure the new PQA Plus materials will be available for each participant. No walk-ins will be accepted."
The session is filled on a first received, first accepted basis, so people should submit their preregistration and payment as soon as possible. The preregistration form is available online at http://www.ipic.iastate.edu/PQAPRecert032911.docx It also is available by fax by calling Jane Runneals at IPIC at 515-294-4103.
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 it 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 http://www.pork.org/certification/default.aspx