The education and certification program called Pork Quality Assurance® Plus (PQA® Plus) is a clear demonstration of our commitment to improve how we farm. Introduced in 1989, Pork Quality Assurance® (PQA®) was designed to help pig farmers and their employees use best practices to promote food safety.

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Find PQA Plus handbooks, program requirements, antibiotics resources, site assessment guide, on-farm forms, and reference material for the PQA Program in the program materials section of the LMS site.
Program Materials

The program was modeled after the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) programs used by food manufacturers to ensure the safety of food products but was customized for on-farm use. PQA has expanded and improved over the years based on scientific advancements and recommendations of technology and animal agriculture experts. In 2007, the program’s name changed to PQA Plus® to reflect the merging of two other education programs into one comprehensive instructional program. Today, it covers a spectrum of topics related to food safety and animal well-being. New features have been added, such as on-farm site assessments, detailed animal care components as well as environmental protection and worker safety.

Experts drive success

PQA Plus relies on experts in agriculture and veterinary medicine to fulfill its mission. Farmer training and on-farm assessments are performed by certified PQA Plus Advisors. There is a network of more than 1,200 certified PQA Plus Advisors across the United States. Certified PQA Plus Advisors are veterinarians, university Extension specialists or agricultural educators. Advisors must attend a PQA Plus training session and successfully pass an examination that verifies the advisor candidate is capable of implementing the training and assessments necessary to do the job.

Growing participation

As the PQA Plus program has evolved, participation has grown significantly. To date, more than 71,000 farmers and farm personnel have voluntarily embraced the program by earning PQA Plus certification. Site assessments have been conducted on more than 18,000 farms.

PQA Plus offers individual worker certification and on-farm site assessment, ensuring that the educational training program are being utilized on the farm as well as the key components of the PQA Plus program.   To become certified, an individual must successfully complete the PQA Plus course and examination,  which is administered by a certified PQA Plus Advisor (a veterinarian, an Extension specialist or an agriculture educator).

PQA Plus provides a framework for significant, relevant food safety standards and improved animal well-being. Pork producers pride themselves on the commitment to continuous improvement. PQA Plus is regularly revised to increase its effectiveness, incorporate new research information and ensure the program’s validity.

Maintaining its food safety tradition to ensure U.S. pork products continue to be recognized domestically and internationally as the highest quality and safest available, PQA Plus also provides information to ensure producers can measure, track and continuously improve animal well-being.