by Melissa Sandfort, Beef Board
More than 2,100 producers across the country became Beef Quality Assurance (BQA)-certified thanks to the recent program supported by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI). That is the highest number in the program’s four-year history, and means that nearly 22,000 producers have taken advantage of these free offers to sign up for the BQA certification program. Through its sponsorship of the BQA certification program, BIVI provides financial support for the Beef Cattle Institute, which developed the certification module.
The checkoff-funded BQA program is important to the cattle industry, as it provides producers a set of best practices for producing quality beef. It also assures consumers that the beef they eat is both safe and wholesome.
“Being BQA-certified gives me and the packer I work with the confidence that I am treating my animals correctly. Most importantly, certification gives consumers the confidence that I am doing everything I can to ensure the health and nutritious value of the beef they purchase,” said Scott Niess, cow-calf producer from Osage, Iowa, and member of the checkoff’s Safety Subcommittee. “We need to be upfront with our animal husbandry practices, and BQA certification allows us to do that. It’s an overall statement of confidence to the industry and consumers.”
The BQA certification modules are customized to fit the specific needs of each segment of the cattle industry — cow-calf, stocker, feedyard and dairy operations. The program covers best management practices, such as proper handling and administration of vaccinations and other products; elimination of injection-site blemishes; and low-stress cattle-handling principles. Although the free certification period has passed, it’s never too late to proclaim your commitment to quality and become BQA-certified through your state trainings or online at www.bqa.org.
For more information about your beef checkoff investment, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.