AASV Pork Producer Partnerssm activities
Taking Pork Quality Assurance training one step further
Dr. John Waddell, Sutton Veterinary Clinic, Sutton, Nebraska, and associates Drs. Ken Lorenzen, Mike Cox, and Jess Hinrichs, have added a new twist to their Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) training efforts. Dr. Waddell and his associates initially establish their producers as PQA Level III certified by using the NPPC's PQA Levels I, II, and III training materials. They conduct training sessions for groups of producers, or, for larger farms, set aside at least 1 day each year to bring in the entire farm staff, from the owner to the power washer operator. The NPPC currently requires PQA Level III recertification every 2 years. The Sutton Veterinary Clinic associates use that opportunity not only to review the Ten Good Production Practices (GPP's) detailed in the PQA Level III training materials, but also to lay groundwork for, and create awareness on, antibiotic resistance issues, the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act, and the reasons for FDA scrutiny of antimicrobial use in animal agriculture.
As a member of the AASV's Pharmaceutical Issues Committee, Dr. Waddell is especially attuned to these issues. Key points discussed include positioning of antimicrobials (prevention is better than treatment) and proper antimicrobial use (use only as long as needed and select the antimicrobial based on its effectiveness). Dr. Waddell believes that if use of low level antibiotics (growth promotants) decreases disease prevalence and allows animals to better express their genetic potential, we don't want to lose access to these medication options by using them irresponsibly. He also feels strongly that swine veterinarians and pork producers share a common responsibility for the quality of pork that leaves the farm and ends up on the consumer's table.
Mr. Bart Beattie, a Sumner, Nebraska, pork producer and Sutton Veterinary Clinic client, agrees with Dr. Waddell. Beattie owns Hamlot, Inc., a family farm in central Nebraska. Dr. Waddell conducts annual PQA training on the Beattie farm, and most of the employees, including the feed mill manager and the hog load-out workers, are PQA Level III certified. Beattie contracts some of his finishing to other producers, who also attend Dr. Waddell's PQA training sessions. Beattie says that much of PQA training is common sense, but it's good to sit down and talk about it with his employees. He and his employees have found the discussions about record keeping and animal identification particularly useful, and have applied some of the record-keeping ideas to the feed-manufacturingside of their operation as well as to the production side. Beattie says that today's pork producers are expected to deal knowledgeably and responsibly with every aspect of pork production. Nothing can be taken lightly and all must be kept in check.
--Contributed by Dr. Teddi Wolff,
AASV Public Relations Committee
Dr. John Waddell (Left) discusses his PQA Training program with Dr. Mike Brumm.
A reminder that now it's time to update the photographic backdrop for our AASV booth, with new pictures demonstrating the diverse job responsibilities of our membership. The Public Relations Committee invites any and all AASV members to contribute photographs that illustrate this diversity. Please submit your photographs to the attention of Dr. Tom Burkgren at the AASV office, 902 1st Street, Perry, Iowa, 50220-1703. Show us pictorially what you or your co-workers do, so that we can share this with others in a photographic montage.