By Carrie Webster

Safety Summit Sparks Continued Workplace Improvement

The Pork Checkoff recently hosted safety managers from 13 pig farms at a Safety Summit. Speakers addressed areas that impact pig production, including:

  • Proposed changes to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard 150, which establishes standards for fire and life safety in animal housing
  • Pork production safety research On-farm disaster response
  • Culture of training on farms
  • An introduction to AgSafe

Summit attendees provided feedback on Pork Checkoff safety tools and resources, including the Safe Pig Handling and Safety Benchmark Database. Moving forward, the Checkoff will support regional, producer-led safety round tables. With guidance and oversight from a producer steering committee, the groups will meet regularly to discuss challenges and to share ideas  to enhance pork production safety. For more about safety resources, visit pork.org or call  (800) 456-7675.

Research Tackles Herd Health

Two new Pork Checkoff resources will help producers, veterinarians and veterinary researchers respond to and prepare for herd health challenges. The new General Swine Disease Research and the Foreign Animal Disease Research guides summarize Checkoff-funded research conducted from 2004 to 2018 on domestic and foreign swine diseases. The guides will help producers and their veterinarians identify and develop better diagnostic and disease-management tools to enhance disease prevention, detection and potential elimination, as well as highlighting vaccination and biosecurity measures. Download the books at
pork.org/research.

Multi-Species Certifications Available for Youth

As of June, youth who raise and show animals will transition to Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) as the preferred youth quality assurance program. Similar in scope to the Pork Checkoff’s Youth Pork Quality Assurance® (YPQA®) program, the YQCA program is a multi-species, science-based educational program for young producers from eight to 21 years of age.

YQCA debuted at World Pork Expo in 2017 and has been in use since then. Youth currently certified in Youth PQA will not need to certify in YQCA until their Youth PQA certification expires. Pig shows and packers will accept both certifications until June 2021. For more information on YQCA, visit yqca.org.