Checkoff logs record 3,300 BQA certifications
December 12, 2016
Producers work cattle using BQA methodsThis fall, more than 3,300 producers from across the country became Beef Quality Assurance (BQA)-certified, the largest number in the history of free-certifications supported by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI). And, of those who signed up during the free certification window, 68 percent completed their certification, also the highest percentage in the program's seven-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 with 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.
"BQA has benefited every aspect of what we do from accurate record-keeping, to calm gentle handling practices, and everything in between. We are teaching these fundamentals to our kids to carry on for generations to come," says Mary Huff, beef producer from Murphy, Idaho. "We have seen time and time again, that cattle sold from BQA-certified producers bring higher prices at market. BQA practices have reduced animal issues, increased beef safety, and increased profit margins. Getting BQA-certified is not only the ethical and right thing to do, it is a value-added, best practice that every producer should be fully engaged in."
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 by becoming BQA-certified through your state trainings or online at http://www.bqa.org.