News from the National Pork Board
Amundson joins staff as animal welfare manager

Jamee Amundson, most recently with the Colorado Department of Agriculture, has been named as the National Pork Board’s animal welfare manager, working with Sherrie Webb, Checkoff’s director of animal welfare. Amundson, a Wisconsin native, holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in animal science from the University of Nebraska. She will be responsible for the oversight of animal-care content for the Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) program and the Transport Quality Assurance program. In addition, she works collaboratively to manage and assure quality of aggregated industry PQA Plus data and assists with coordination of special projects within the animal welfare program.

For more information, contact Jamee Amundson at or 515-223-3534.

Pork Checkoff announces recipients of the 2015 pork industry scholarships

The National Pork Board has awarded 21 student scholarships to students who hail from 15 states and 15 universities, and who are majoring in nine different swine-related fields. This is part of the National Pork Board’s strategy to develop the pork industry’s human capital for the future. The scholarship winners were selected from a pool of applicants on the basis of scholastic merit, leadership activities, pork-production industry involvement, and future pork-production career plans.

“Helping develop the next generation of pork professionals is one of the top issues that the Pork Checkoff has identified as critical for the industry’s future,” said Dale Norton, outgoing president of the National Pork Board and a producer from Bronson, Michigan. “Our ongoing service and obligation to producers includes ensuring that there is a sustainable source of young people ready to take on the industry’s charge of producing safe, wholesome pork in a socially responsible way.”

For more information, contact Chris Hostetler at or 515-223-2606.

New PQA Plus Web site

On March 31, Pork Checkoff launched a new look for the certification Web site located on This newly designed certification site is also referred to as a learning management system. New features include a new, cleaner look and a role-based feature that allows users to see only what they need to see and what is relevant. In addition, the ease of granting online training access for eligible producers has improved along with the search functionality.

For more information, contact Dinah Peebles at or 515-223-2795.

PQA Plus changes coming with revision

With less than 1 year until the roll out of the newly revised Pork Quality Assurance Plus program, the National Pork Board wants veterinarians and PQA Plus advisors to know more about the changes coming, which include an emphasis on the We Care ethical principles. Per the PQA Plus task force, the revised program will use these principles as the main chapters of the 2016 revised program. The Good Production Practices will be the sub-chapters under each We Care ethical principle. The task force also recommended that the handbook be more focused on barn workers and what they need to know. This includes updating the site assessment to be equal to or greater than the Common Swine Industry Audit.

For more information, contact Dinah Peebles at or 515-223-2795.

PQA Plus provides foundation for antibiotic use

To get the best handle on the basics of antibiotic use and compliance, producers should turn to what they already know and rely on – the Pork Checkoff’s Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) program. Together with consultation with their herd veterinarians, producers should be able to navigate the changes coming from the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) new antibiotic use guidelines and the expansion of the Veterinary Feed Directive rule.

Today, more than 60,000 producers have completed the PQA Plus on-farm education and certification program. All major packers require producers to participate in the program before they will purchase their market hogs.The program’s Good Production Practices continue to provide the basic platform for pork producers and their employees to ensure responsible antibiotic use on the farm day in and day out.

“PQA Plus outlines the principles of responsible antibiotic use,” said Jennifer Koeman, DVM, director of producer and public health for the Pork Checkoff. “Producers have a long history of using antibiotics responsibly. With the PQA Plus principles already in place, we are well in line with the new FDA strategy.”

Antibiotic principles of PQA Plus:

Principle 1: Take appropriate steps to decrease the need for the application of antibiotics.

Principle 2: Assess the advantages and disadvantages of all uses of antibiotics.

Principle 3: Use antibiotics only when they will provide measurable benefits.

Principle 4: Fully implement management practices described for responsible use of animal-health products into daily operations.

Principle 5: Have a working veterinarian-client-patient relationship and follow the responsible antibiotic use guidelines.

For more information, contact Jennifer Koeman at or 515-223-2633.

Foreign Animal Disease Packs are available in English and Spanish

The Pork Checkoff continues to offer these “push packs,” at no cost to US veterinarians and pork producers, that focus on foreign animal diseases (FADs) such as foot-and-mouth, classical swine fever, African swine fever (ASF), and swine vesicular disease. These sturdy, barn-friendly wall charts measure 12 inches by 18 inches and are great for both visitor and employee biosecurity education. Each pack also comes with a special report on ASF and a fact sheet on what to do in case a FAD is diagnosed in the United States.

To order these packs, go to and scroll down to the “Pork Store.”

For more information, contact Patrick Webb at or 515-223-3441.