Advancements & Innovation in Pig Farming

Raising pigs looks different today than it did decades ago; America’s pig farmers and others throughout the pork supply chain have consistently demonstrated an industry-wide commitment to improvement and are responsible for that progress. The changes include significant advancements in animal health, food safety and environmental stewardship. Over the years, pig farmers have embraced industrywide efforts to improve best farming practices, as shown by the record participation in quality assurance programs such as Pork Quality Assurance® Plus and Transport Quality Assurance®.

Continuous improvement in action

The education and certification program called Pork Quality Assurance® Plus (PQA Plus®) is a clear demonstration of our commitment to continuously improve how we farm. Introduced in 1989, Pork Quality Assurance was designed to help pig farmers and their employees promote food safety. The program, modeled after food industry Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) programs, was customized for on-farm use.

PQA Plus® has expanded and improved over the years based on scientific advancements and recommendations of technology and animal agriculture experts. In 2007, the program’s name changed to PQA Plus® to reflect the merging of two other educational programs into one comprehensive instructional program.  New features have been added over time, such as on-farm site assessments, corrective action plans, a defined commitment to animal care, as well programs centered on environmental protection/sustainability, public health and worker safety.