The Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) and Iowa State University (ISU) Extension are teaming up to offer Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus), Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) and confinement site manure applicator training and certification sessions for free during the Iowa Pork Congress, Jan. 27-28, in Des Moines, IA.

The dates and times are:

--PQA Plus certification: Larry McMullen, ISU Extension, Jan. 27, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Hy-Vee Hall, Lower Level, Room 3.

--TQA certification: David Stender, ISU Extension, Jan. 27, 1-3 p.m., Hy-Vee Hall, Lower Level, Room 3.

--Confinement Site Manure Applicator certification: Angela Rieck-Hinz, ISU, Jan. 28, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Hy-Vee Hall, Lower Level, Room 3.

Producers can pre-register for these sessions by contacting Tyler Bettin, IPPA producer education director, at (800) 372-7675 or tbettin@iowapork.org.

PQA Plus and TQA are part of the We Care responsible pork initiative developed by the National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council.

Participation in PQA Plus signifies that producers are committed to safe food, animal well-being, public health, the environment, their employees and their local communities.

TQA helps swine transporters, producers and handlers understand how to properly handle, move and transport pigs and the potential impact of those actions on animal well-being and pork quality.

IPPA and the National Pork Board are encouraging all producers to become PQA Plus-certified and achieve PQA Plus site status by Dec. 31, 2010.