Bob Thaler

Bob Thaler

Pork producers who need to renew their Pork Quality Assurance certification can do so at South Dakota Pork Congress.

A training will take place in the Ramkota Amphitheater II Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 3 p.m. This certification will be conducted by South Dakota State University Extension swine specialists Bob Thaler and Ryan Samuel.

IPQA Plus replaced the PQA program in 2007, adding principles of animal care and well-being to the pork safety content already in PQA. In addition to having an education and certification component, the program now also includes a voluntary farm assessment piece.

In June, PAQ Plus 4.0 was launched. The revised program incorporates the 10 Good Production Practices (GPPs) to align more closely with the We Care Initiative’s ethical principles. The public health section has been expanded, environmental stewardship was established, and worker safety and continuous improvement was added to the curriculum. Responsible use of antibiotics is also new.

Producers must complete the PQA Plus education training conducted by a PQA Plus advisor and then pass an open-book test. Once the training is completed, the advisor contacts National Pork Board, which sends the producer a certification card.

There are currently 2,129 producers that have received PQA Plus certification to date in South Dakota and 365 that have had their sites assessed.

PQA Plus certified producers wishing to have their farms assessed and obtain PQA Plus site status can do so by arranging for a PQA Plus advisor to conduct an on-farm site assessment. Otherwise, producers can get trained in performing self-assessments, and perform the on-farm assessment themselves.

More information about PQA certifications and site assessments is available on the South Dakota Pork Producers Council website (

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