ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — A temporary version of the American Sheep Industry Association’s Sheep Safety and Quality Assurance module is now available to producers through the American Wool Assurance website.
Completion of the SSQA module is required for Level 1 certification in the AWA program, but the technology used in running the module needed some updating in making the move from the ASI website to the AWA website. Producers who have previously completed the SSQA module are not required to complete it again as part of the AWA process.
ASI began development of an industry-wide quality assurance program in 1991. Since then, through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Colorado State University, the University of Minnesota, and Texas A&M University, ASI has conducted a quality audit of meat, wool and milk from American sheep. In the final report of that audit, industry problem areas were identified, and preventative management strategies to assist in the reduction of quality challenges were developed. The mission of the SSQA program is to maximize consumer confidence in, and acceptance of, sheep products by using research and education to improve management during the production of safe and high-quality sheep products.
The SSQA module is undergoing a complete overhaul that is expected to be completed in 2022, but until that time producers can move forward in AWA certification with the temporary module. Updates to the module will include: information on production management, product quality consistency practices, animal well-being, sustainability and biosecurity. The new SSQA module will also offer a user-friendly manual, pocket resource guide, website and learning courses.
Click Here to learn more about the AWA and SSQA programs.
–American Sheep Industry Association
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