Pork Checkoff LogoNews from the National Pork Board
Checkoff research on oral fluids pays dividends

More than 5 years after it began, Checkoff-funded research into using oral fluids as an alternative to blood-based diagnostics is making a difference for veterinarians, producers, and pigs in terms of diagnostics and disease control – including PRRS.

Research funded by Checkoff in 2005, led by Dr Jeff Zimmerman at Iowa State University, showed that oral-fluid-based diagnostics can reduce labor and time for workers, and stress in pigs. Today, that investment is paying off as Zimmerman’s work has found that oral-fluid samples offer an efficient, cost-effective, and practical method for surveillance of PRRS and other pathogens in a production setting. It has also provided the basis for further collaboration and research in using oral fluids to detect other important swine diseases. In fact, the research by Zimmerman has led to more interest in and adoption of oral-fluid diagnostics by veterinarians, which is resulting in improved worker safety, environmental enrichment for pigs, and better disease surveillance. Other benefits include saving of time, labor, and money.

For more information, contact Patrick Webb at pwebb@pork.org or 515-223-3441.

Dr. Jennifer KoemanKoeman joins Checkoff as director of producer and public health

Dr Jennifer Koeman, a native of White Rock, British Columbia, has joined the National Pork Board staff as director of producer and public health. She holds a Master of Science degree in animal reproduction from McGill University, a DVM degree from the University of Saskatchewan, and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Minnesota. Her experience includes working for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and interacting on various levels with the Pan American Health Organization and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Most recently, she completed the Veterinary Public Health Residency Program at the University of Minnesota, during which she taught a veterinary public health course at the University of Minnesota and was engaged in various projects with industry and government partners.

For more information, contact Jennifer Koeman at jkoeman@pork.org or 515-223-2795.

PQA Plus site assessments continue

As 2011 begins, there is still opportunity for producers who have not yet achieved PQA Plus site status to do so. The National Pork Board encourages all swine veterinarians to urge their producer clients to do their part to achieve this industry goal. Also, if you have an interest and have not already become certified as a PQA Plus advisor, you can do so by contacting a state trainer. For information on locating a state trainer or for a list of advisor training dates, go to www.pork.org or contact Pork Checkoff at 800-456-7675.

For more information, contact Stacy Revels at srevels@pork.org or 515-223-2795.

TQA® Advisor recertification deadline

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 for 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 on www.pork.org.

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. Transport Quality Assurance handlers will need to recertify according to the expiration date found on the TQA card. Transport Quality Assurance handler certification is good for 3 years.

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