Iowa pork producers set a new milestone as 5,471 pork production sites have been assessed through the Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus program.

PQA Plus was launched in 2007 as a continuous improvement program that outlines good production practices in the areas of food safety and animal well-being. Individuals first become certified through an education program. Then PQA Plus advisors conduct an objective assessment of practices on the farm.

Nearly 14,000 Iowans are certified in the PQA Plus training program.

Each year a random sample of assessed sites is selected for third-party verification of the program. Data from this verification will be used to help set necessary areas for improvement and increased education for producers.

“PQA Plus certification and the site assessment process help show customers we care about our animals and the safety of food we produce and aid in continuous improvement of our industry,” says Leon Sheets, president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA). “Iowa pork producers take great pride in providing a safe, wholesome and healthy product for consumers around the world.”

PQA Plus is part of the pork industry’s We Care responsible pork initiative. This initiative outlines ethical principles for pork producers to produce safe food, protect and promote animal well-being, protect public health, safeguard natural resources, provide a safe work environment and contribute to improvement of quality of life.

For more information about PQA Plus, We Care or other IPPA producer education programs, contact Tyler Bettin, IPPA producer education director, at (800) 372-7675 or tbettin@iowapork.org.