Checkoff-Funded Beef Quality Assurance Program’s Online Certification Option Reaches Major Milestone

More than 50,000 cattle producers have been certified through the Beef Quality Assurance program’s new online learning system since it was first offered in February 2017. Throughout the country hundreds of thousands have now become BQA-certified through in-person and online training, with an estimated 80 percent of the U.S. fed beef supply now touched by BQA-certified operations.

                The beef checkoff-funded BQA program is a nationally coordinated, state implemented program that provides systematic information to U.S. beef producers and beef consumers of how commonsense husbandry techniques can be coupled with accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under optimum management and environmental conditions. BQA guidelines are designed to make certain all beef consumers can take pride in what they purchase – and can trust and have confidence in the entire beef industry.

                Online BQA training provides 24/7 access to the program through a series of videos and animation. While in-person training is still available through numerous sessions conducted by in-state BQA coordinators throughout the country, online certification provides a chance for certification at any time. Three courses are available (cow/calf, stocker/backgrounder and feedyard) to deliver a program that most closely aligns with the individual’s operation. The certifications are also available in Spanish.

“Beef producers recognize that quality is everyone’s responsibility, but many don’t have the opportunity to attend in-person training,” according to Bob Smith, DVM, chair of the BQA Advisory Board. “These producers still want to assure that practices on their operations are conducted under BQA-qualified standards. While in-person training provides important knowledge and useful cattle handling and husbandry skills, the online BQA program is a valuable option that can deliver critical information and training anytime and anywhere.”

For information on completing online BQA training, go to https://www.bqa.org/certification. For more information on the BQA program, contact DeCoite at cdecoite@beef.org.

Source: NCBA Press Release

Calling for Nominations for Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Awards

Award applications for the 12th annual National Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Awards now are being accepted. The 2019 National BQA Awards recognize five winners in the areas of beef, dairy, marketing and education:

  • The BQA Cow Calf and BQA Feedyard awards recognize producers who best demonstrate the implementation of BQA principles as part of the day-to-day activities on their respective operations.
  • The BQA / FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) award honors those dairy operations that demonstrate the best in animal care and handling while implementing the BQA and FARM programs at the highest levels.
  • The BQA Marketer Award acknowledges livestock markets, cattle buyers and supply-chain programs that promote BQA to their customers and offer them opportunities to get certified.
  • The BQA Educator Award celebrates individuals or companies that provide high quality and innovative training to individuals that care and handle cattle throughout the industry chain.

The National BQA Awards are selected by a committee of BQA certified representatives from universities, state beef councils, sponsors and affiliated groups. Nominations are submitted by organizations, groups or individuals on behalf of a U.S. beef producer, dairy beef producer, marketer or educator. Individuals and families may not nominate themselves, though the nominees are expected to be involved in the preparation of the application. Past nominees are encouraged to submit their application under the new nomination structure. Previous winners may not reapply.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association manages the BQA program as a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program. Funding for the BQA Awards is made possible by the generosity of Cargill, which has supported the program since its inception, and Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, which sponsors the BQA Educator Award.

Find the application and nomination requirements here. Applications are due by June 1, 2018.

For more information about BQA visit BQA.org.

BQA Free Certification Period Announced

BQAThe countdown has begun for beef and dairy producers to become Beef Quality Assurance (BQA)-certified for free online through Nov. 20. And, as an added bonus, anyone who becomes certified during this period is eligible to win a prize package, courtesy of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. and the BQA program, funded in part by the beef checkoff.

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. will pick up the $25-$50 online training fee for every person completing BQA training through Nov. 20. That includes anyone who works with cattle – whether it is beef or dairy. Visit www.bqa.org to take advantage of the open certification period.

The BQA program is important to the cattle industry because it is a producers’ consumer-friendly story to tell, helping them talk about using BQA Best Management Practices for producing a safe and high quality beef product. And for dairy producers, this offering also is beneficial as a tool to promote safe animal-handling practices and because a large percentage of dairy calves, as well as market cows, make their way into the food chain.

The BQA training 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 animal health products, reducing injection site blemishes, and low stress cattle-handling principles.

More than 2,100 producers across the country became Beef Quality Assurance (BQA)-certified during the last campaign thanks to the program support 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 training modules.

To become BQA-certified, or learn more about the program, visit www.bqa.org.