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  • Real Pork Trust Consortium

From Bright Leaf to Berkshires Farmers Participate in We Care® Ethical Principles Training

Jan Archer teaches about the We Care Ethical Principles of the pork industry to cohort members in North Carolina
Jan Archer discussing the importance of the We Care® Ethical Principles when operating a pig farm.

On April 20th, the Director of Producer Education and Outreach for the North Carolina Pork Council and Past President of the National Pork Board, Jan Archer, facilitated Pork Checkoff training sessions for a group of North Carolina farmers from Columbus, Caswell, Guilford, Robeson, and Sampson Counties. Jan is a pig farmer from Wayne County, North Carolina, and has a 1,200-sow swine operation.

Pig farmers take a quality assurance exam in a university classroom
From Bright Leaf to Berkshires program participants take the TQA Plus certification exam

The farmers are participants in an N.C. A&T Cooperative Extension program, "From Bright Leaf to Berkshires", that is directed by Real Pork Trust Consortium member, Dr. Derrick J. Coble. The program was developed from a North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Committee grant and is aimed at providing farmers in North Carolina's "Tobacco Belt" with the necessary skills needed to produce high-quality pork products in a manner that is in accordance with the National Pork Board's We Care® Ethical Principles.

Group picture of Jan Archer and the participants of From Bright Leaf to Berkshires in front of a mural at NC A&T State University
Participants and instructors of the From Bright Leaf to Berkshires program pose for a photo with Jan Archer.

During the training sessions, the farmers had the opportunity to engage in the the PQA Plus Certification Program. This program is directed at helping pig farmers and their employees continually improve their production practices. It addresses food safety, animal well-being, environmental stewardship, worker safety, public health, and community.

The TQA Plus Certification Program in particular is directed at training pig transporters, producers, and handlers in how to properly handle, move, and transport pigs. It addresses the potential impacts of transporting on pig well-being and pork product quality. Participants took the exam for TQA Plus Certification during one training session to ensure they were knowledgeable about the most current information concerning how to best transport pigs on their farms.

The farmers were also introduced to the Pork Checkoff program, educated about the "We Care" Ethical Principles Training initiative, and taught about the behavior of pigs.

Training is a key strategy of the Real Pork Trust Consortium. Learn more about our training efforts here.


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