Quality Assurance Programs

The Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus program was created in 1989 to assist swine producers and farm employees with developing good production practices on farms. This program defines best method practices for improved pig well-being and pork quality and encompasses the We Care Initiative supported by the Pork Checkoff program. The PQA program is offered as a face-to-face educational session for people gaining certification for the first time. 

Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus)

PQA Plus Training and Certification - The PQA Plus program was created in 1989 to assist producers and farm employees with developing good production practices on farms. This program defines best method practices for improved pig well-being and pork quality and encompasses the We Care Initiative supported by the Pork Checkoff program. The PQA program is offered as a face-to-face educational session for people gaining certification for the first time.  Participates renewing their certification can complete this process online by contacting their PQA Plus advisor.

On-Farm Site Assessment - an on-farm tool used to visually assess the wellbeing of the farm’s pigs. Certified advisors complete this process and provide producers with recommendations for improved management practices. This portion of the program is voluntary for producers to complete.

  • PQA Plus Site Assessment Guide
  • Third-party verification - Upon completion of an on-farm site assessment producers may be contacted to participate in voluntary third party verification. The verification process is identical to the on-farm assessment that is performed by a PQA Plus advisor; however it is completed an unbiased third party who is commissioned by the Pork Checkoff.  If your site is selected for a third party verification you will be contacted approximately two weeks prior to the visit.
  • PQA Plus Site Assment Preparation Checklist
  • MPPA Cost Share Program for site assessment - Michigan Pork Producers Association (MPPA) has created a cost share program to assist producers with on-farm site assessments through the Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus program.  This program will help defray the cost of on-farm site assessments, which support the Pork Checkoff’s We Care Initiative. Once an assessment is complete certified advisors can submit for reimbursement up to $250 per operation to help cover the cost of the assessment. These funds will be sent directly to the advisor, reducing the out of pocket expense for the producer.  It is the hope of MPPA that providing this service will encourage producers to complete the on-farm site assessment in conjunction with the PQA Plus program. For more information on the cost share program please contact MPPA at 517-853-3785 or Kelpinski@mipork.org.  
  • How to schedule a site assessment - Contact a PQA Plus Certified Advisor.
  • How to register for a premise ID - A component of the on-farm site assessment program is registering your premise with the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). This system creates a method to identify and track livestock agriculture sites and will help facilitate processes in the event of a disease spread concern. Producers are advised to create premise identification numbers for each individual site. Sites are considered individual if they are separated by more than 1/4 mile. In order to register your premise or to find your premise number you can contact Michigan Department of Agriculture at 1-866-870-5136 or online. On-farm site assessments cannot be completed without a premise identification number.  

Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA)

YQCA is a national multi-species quality assurance program for youth ages 8 to 21 with a focus on three core pillars: food safety, animal well-being, and character development. This program mimics the retired Youth Pork Quality Assurance (YPQA) Plus program, which was the core quality assurance certification program for youth that sell and exhibit their swine for many years. Spanning various different food production animal species, the YQCA program highlights 10 good production practices for youth producers to review and includes specific information on: pigs, beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, market rabbits and poultry.

Special notice: The Youth Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus program will be discontinued June 1st, 2018 and replaced with the Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) program. 

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