BROOKINGS — The National Pork Board has recently announced the opportunity to offer and complete Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus and/or Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) certifications virtually. Certified advisors may offer virtual PQA Plus or TQA trainings virtually via webinar to facilitate the training.
Recommendations for hosting virtual trainings:
Certified advisors should consider no more than 20 individuals at a remote location. Groups of 20 or less help keep trainings manageable and allows each person to interact with their certified advisor if they have a question.
There must be an individual at the remote location that is PQA Plus and/or TQA certified prior to the virtual class such as the farm manager or barn supervisor who will serve as the facilitator during the training. That person will then assist at the remote location to run equipment and keep trainees engaged throughout the training. Additionally, the PQA Plus or TQA certified person at the remote location will facilitate the exam on behalf of the certified advisor, then collect all exams and return them back to the advisor for scoring and entry.
Although face-to-face trainings are not offered at this time, certified advisors are still looking for ways to interact with participants which can be achieved through virtual certification trainings. Alternatively, online training options are always available to those wishing to pursue new and renewed certifications by contacting a certified advisor. To request access to online PQA Plus or TQA certification training at any time, contact SDSU Extension Swine Specialist Ryan Samuel at (605) 688-5165 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus Program
The Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus®) program is about education. The original, voluntary PQA educational program was launched in 1989. Demonstrating the commitment of the pork industry to incorporate the latest scientific knowledge and production methods, the program has been updated over the years and has undergone revision and improvement every three years. The most-recent version of the program, PQA Plus Version 4, became effective June 3, 2019.
There are two components of today’s PQA Plus program: certification and site status. According to the National Pork Board “more than 71,000 farmers and farm personnel have voluntarily embraced the program by earning PQA Plus certification” and “more than 19,000 sites,” representing 85% of the US pig population, have been assessed under the program at the time of writing.
For more information about the PQA Plus program offerings and certification requirements, visit SDSU Extension (https://extension.sdstate.edu/introducing-pqa-plus-version-4#).