BQA certifies 2,000 during free campaign
This spring, nearly 2,000 producers from across the country became Beef Quality Assurance (BQA)-certified, thanks to the latest “free-certification” supported by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI). And, of those who signed up during the free certification window, 65 percent completed their certification, the highest percentage in the program’s six-year history. Through the 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 gives consumers the assurance that the beef they eat is both safe and wholesome.
“I was taught at a young age that there is a right way and a wrong way to do business, no matter the task at hand. In any business there is a proven process for success. In the cattle industry, the benchmark is the BQA way,” says Janet Crow, beef producer from Missouri.
“I had been raising cattle on my own for about 15 years. The key to promotion and selling more beef is to educate the public on the facts of beef production. The public – especially the people in large cities and suburbs – need to know that beef producers are passionate about what goes on their plates. BQA and the beef checkoff dollars help promote the benefits of lean beef through many avenues and gives us the tools we need to be environmentally sustainable on the farm, raise a healthy quality beef product for consumers, and a better process to do business right on the farm,” Crow says.
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; using low-stress cattle-handling principles; and eliminating injection-site blemishes. Although the free-certification period has passed, it’s never too late to demonstrate your commitment to quality and become BQA-certified through your state trainings or online at http://www.bqa.org.