May and June, 1998

The 1998 World Pork Expo will be held in Des Moines on June 4-6. The AASP will have a booth and will be handing out literature as well as a special gift for PQA Level III producers in appreciation of their efforts. We are looking for AASP members who can help out at the booth. Please contact Tom Burkgren at the AASP office at 515-465-5255 and let him know when you would be available.

PQA certification must be renewed every 2 years, and the NPPC sends out a quarterly reminder to PQA verifiers that lists which producers are due for PQA renewal. The reminder also states how many hogs are represented by each PQA producer. The NPPC's Paul Sundberg says that "it is important that the numbers of hogs be as accurate as possible, so please verify the numbers with your producers."

At least two packers have recently indicated that as of January 1, 1999, all producers who ship pork to their facilities must be PQA Level III certified. Swine practitioners who are PQA verifiers will want to make sure that all of their producers are PQA Level III certified, and AASP members who are not yet PQA verifiers can contact Kelli McGuire at NPPC at 515-223-2600 to receive the verifier materials.

In the January/February 1998 issue of Swine Health and Production, this column discussed a new initiative called Pork TV, a broadcast-quality magazine style television/video program designed to help America's leading pork producers become more profitable, quality-conscious, and united as an industry. The AASP has agreed to provide veterinary personnel and expertise for a regularly featured swine health segment. The first Pork TV video is complete and the swine health segment features AASP members Faye Vittetoe of Brighton, Iowa and Steve Menke of Ottumwa, Iowa. In this segment, Dr. Vittetoe discusses the two-way relationship developed by a swine producer and his/her veterinarian, i.e., that the producer needs the veterinarian and the veterinarian needs the producer. She also points out that producers today are confronted by information overload, but swine veterinarians can help producers sort through all of this. Dr. Menke says that swine practitioners not only help producers implement good pork production practices, but just as importantly, help producers understand the reasons for implementation. The Pork TV video will be mailed to 19,000+ PQA producers and all AASP members will receive a free copy of the video.

--contributed by Dr. Teddi Wolff
AASP Public Relations Committee