October 15, 2004 --Eleven new Sheep Safety & Quality Assurance (SSQA) trainers from California to Minnesota to Maryland successfully completed the two-day train-the-trainer course at Colorado State University (CSU) this week, and were awarded the title of SSQA Certified. Those certified range from sheep extension personnel to sheep producers to consultants.
Over the next three to five years, the overall goal of the SSQA program, developed jointly by the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) and CSU, is to develop a large number of certified producers who will take the practices back to their operations and implement the program. This session helped to achieve this goal by placing new trainers across the country to assist in the promotion of the program to producers.
Drs. Keith Belk and Steve LeValley, along with Travis Hoffman, all with CSU, and Dr. Deb Roeber, from the University of Minnesota, provided interactive instruction and real farm-application scenarios to the new trainers to best represent the potential feel of a future producer training session. Walking through the exercises enabled those being taught a chance to experience the development of the plan and ask the same questions future participants may ask.
"Wide-spread industry participation in the SSQA program will provide credibility to consumers relative to the sheep industry?s willingness to be consumer-driven," stated Dr. Belk. "The program addresses safety, quality and consistency ? three vital properties that influence consumer demand of a product."
States and organizations that would like to provide this training for their producers can contact the ASI office for more details.
Staff contact: Paul Rodgers, 303-771-3500