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Friday, December 9, 2011

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ISU Offers Pork Producer Training

Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA PlusŪ) 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 PlusŪ 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 audit that gives customer credibility. For more information on PQA PlusŪ contact the National Pork Board at 800-456-PORK, or go to www.pork.org.

Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) was introduced in 2002 by the Pork Checkoff as a quality assurance program designed specifically for transporters, producers and handlers of pigs. It encourages dedication to transporting and delivering the highest quality, safest pork product possible to remain competitive in the global market. The program's mission is to make a positive impact on pork industry animal movement practices through the education and continued training of animal handlers by demonstrating industry-leading techniques which lead to enhanced animal well-being; and quality pork products.

PQA Plus and TQA training session

Each session is two hours long with a registration fee of $25 per person payable at the training session.

Producers that need to be certified are encouraged to put the following dates on their calendars:

* December 14 - PQA Plus Training, 10 a.m.-noon at the Plymouth County Extension Office, LeMars

* December 14 - TQA Training, 1-3 p.m. at the Plymouth County Extension Office, LeMars

* January 12 - PQA Plus Training, 10 a.m.-noon at the Cherokee County Extension Office, Cherokee

* February 28 - PQA Plus Training, 10 a.m.-noon at the Cherokee County Extension Office, Cherokee

* February 28 - TQA Training, 1-3 p.m. at the Cherokee County Extension Office, Cherokee

Contact Dave Stender, ISU Extension and Outreach Swine Program Specialist, at 712-261-0225 for information or to register.