ND’s Pederson earns Beef Quality Assurance Award
Lisa Pederson, the North Dakota State University Extension Service’s beef quality assurance (BQA) specialist, has received the 2016 National Beef Quality Assurance Educator of the Year Award.
She was recognized for promoting BQA principles on a daily basis.
Pederson was humbled to learn that her fellow state BQA coordinators, North Dakota beef industry leaders and the producers with whom she works nominated her for the award.
“This is an award for the whole North Dakota Beef Quality Assurance program, not just me,” she says.
BQA is a national program that started as a way to assure the real and perceived safety of beef. Today, BQA is much more than a safety assurance program. It provides producers with information to help them improve their management practices, which allows them to increase the market value of their cattle and instills confidence in the beef industry.
For Pederson, that means working with beef producers on issues such as improving carcass quality, using better cattle-handling techniques and protecting their herds through the use of herd health practices.
“I love teaching,” she says. “I think it’s the best part of my job. That’s why I keep doing this. It’s because I get to work with the greatest producers, the greatest Extension agents, the greatest veterinarians and allied industry every day and involve them all in a really good educational program.”
Pederson works with dairy as well as beef producers. She helps dairy producers understand that they are a valuable part of the beef industry and educates them about practices they can implement to improve their value to the industry.
She joined NDSU Extension as its BQA specialist in March 1999 and has brought her experience in the cattle industry to the job. She grew up on a cow-calf operation in southwestern Colorado, and she and her husband are involved in his family’s fifth-generation cattle operation.
“I understand the challenges producers have every day,” she says. “Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I can help them implement things into their operation.”
Julie Ellingson, executive vice president of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association, says Pederson has been very helpful to the state’s beef industry because she launched the BQA program in North Dakota and has built it into a valuable resource.
Pederson received one of five awards presented to producers and others who promote BQA efforts.
“Our 2016 award winners are exemplary models for promoting beef as a quality product from the local to the national level,” says Chase Decoite, associate director of the BQA program for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “They are working diligently to implement the newest, safest, most efficient animal health, handling, daily management and record-keeping practices. They are truly examples of sharing the BQA story.”