News from the National Pork Board
Pork Checkoff LogoWanted: Participation in swine influenza virus surveillance

The Pork Checkoff, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, and participating diagnostic laboratories, recently launched a new campaign to encourage pork producers to participate in swine influenza virus (SIV) surveillance when their pigs show signs of respiratory disease. Offered with a default anonymous option, the results are known only by state of origin unless a producer asks in writing for a traceable option. Participating producers should not expect additional cost to participate in this nationwide initiative beyond their present costs when their veterinarian collects similar samples for diagnostic tests.

“This approach to SIV surveillance is designed to eliminate any objections producers might have to participating in the program,” said Lisa Becton, Checkoff’s Director of Swine Health. “It’s our hope that with more samples coming into the surveillance system, future vaccines and herd-health protocols can be improved to offer more disease protection at the farm and national levels.”

For more information about SIV surveillance, go to and click on the “Resources” tab. Also, feel free to contact Lisa Becton at or at 515-223-2791.

Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus site assessment deadline nearly here

As the December 31 deadline to have all production sites PQA Plus site-assessed draws near, the National Pork Board encourages all swine veterinarians to urge their producer clients to do their part to achieve this industry goal. By late summer, more than 11,000 sites had been assessed, which represents more than 62% of current hog inventory (Table 1).

If you have an interest and have not already become certified as a PQA Plus advisor, do so by contacting a state trainer. For information on locating a state trainer or for a list of advisor training dates, go to or contact Pork Checkoff at 800-456-7675.

For more information, contact Stacy Revels at or 515-223-2795.

TQA Advisor recertification deadline nears

The National Pork Board is currently in the process of revising the Transport Quality Assurance® (TQA) program. The TQA program is revised once every 3 years in order to ensure that it reflects the most recent and accurate scientific information. Advisor recertification will take place beginning in January 2011. There are two ways to re-certify as a TQA Advisor.

1. Certify online beginning January 7, 2011. The 2-hour online training session is available only to currently certified TQA Instructors, and is not available to advisors who completed online recertification in 2008. Advisors who completed online recertification in 2008 will need to attend the face-to-face training. The online training session will be available until May 1, 2011.

2. Certify at a day-long, face-to-face training session. A detailed registration brochure will be available at

Current advisors should look for a letter and an e-mail with further details about the recertification process. Anyone desiring to become a new TQA Advisor will need to participate in a face-to-face training session. The online training session is available only for currently certified TQA Instructors.

Transport Quality Assurance advisors may begin certifying and recertifying TQA handlers in the new program February 1, 2011. The TQA handlers will need to recertify according to the expiration date found on the TQA card. Handler certification is valid for 3 years.

If you have any questions, please contact the Pork Checkoff Service Center at 800-456-7675.

More information on pork’s carbon footprint

Although the official “launch” of communications related to pork carbon footprint has not occurred, new information about this area should be getting out to all audiences by early 2011. Look for announcements on this important topic at and other Checkoff-related venues. For more information, contact Allan Stokes at or 515-223-3447.