The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program, has announced the winners of its 2019 Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Awards at the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention in New Orleans, La. The National BQA Award recognizes outstanding beef and dairy producers and marketers that demonstrate animal care and handling principles as part of their day-to-day operations. As good stewards of the cattle industry, a common trait among all contest entrants must be a strong desire to improve their operations through BQA, while encouraging others to implement the producer education program. Award categories include: Cow-Calf, Dairy, Feedyard, Marketer and Educator of the Year.
2019 BQA Cow-Calf Award Matador Cattle Company is the recipient of the 2019 BQA Cow-Calf Award. Founded in 1952, the Matador Cattle Company raises more than 12,000 head of cattle on three ranches that are located in Kansas, Texas and Montana. On each ranch, employees are BQA certified and understand proper animal handling. Matador Cattle Company works closely with veterinarians to keep detailed records and is one of the first cow-calf operations to bring in a third party BQA evaluator to determine areas for continuous improvement.
2019 BQA – FARM Dairy Award Scattered Acres Inc., located in Bedford, Pa., is the winner of the 2019 BQA – FARM Dairy Award. Each day, the Hartman family focuses on the care of their 1,100 cows at their two locations. Knowing that their dairy cows will eventually become part of the beef supply, employees are trained to follow BQA guidelines to ensure high quality milk as well as beef. With use of technology, intensive record keeping and employee training on BQA principles, Scattered Acres is committed to delivering safe, wholesome dairy and beef products.
2019 BQA Feedyard Award The winner of the 2019 Feedyard BQA Award is Buffalo Feeders, located in Buffalo, Okla. Part of the Pratt Feeders Group, Buffalo Feeders is a 30,000 head custom feedyard that focuses on individual animal care. The feedyard incorporates comprehensive animal identification and a complete record keeping system to track the health and progress of each animal from their arrival to the yard to when they are loaded out. Every employee is trained and certified in the care and handling principles of the BQA program.
2019 Marketer BQA Award The Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association (Equity Coop) is the winner of the 2019 BQA Marketer Award and has served the needs of Wisconsin producers since 1922. As the state’s largest livestock marketer, Equity Cooperative Livestock has 14 locations, more than 300 employees and a focus on BQA best practices. With every employee trained and following BQA principles, the team at Equity is building consumer confidence in Wisconsin’s beef industry.
2019 BQA Educator Award Dr. Temple Grandin is the winner of the 2019 Educator of the year BQA Award. For more than four decades, Dr. Grandin has been leading the effort for better treatment of livestock. Throughout her career, she has conducted valuable research into the welfare and handling of cattle. She has worked with ranchers, feedlots and packers to identify and prevent challenges in animal care. She has also taught college courses for several decades, shaping the future minds of the cattle industry. Dr. Grandin’s research topics helped shape the BQA program from the beginning and are key components of today’s BQA training initiatives.
Award winners are selected by a committee comprised of BQA certified representatives from universities, state beef councils, sponsors and affiliated groups, who assess nominations based on their demonstrated commitment to BQA practices, their service as leaders in the beef industry and their dedication to promoting the BQA message to grow consumer confidence. Four National BQA Awards (Cow-Calf, Feedyard, Dairy and Marketer) are funded in part by the Beef Checkoff Program with additional financial support provided by Cargill. The BQA Educator Award is funded in part by the Beef Checkoff Program with additional financial support provided by Boehringer Ingelheim. You can read more on each of the award winners’ operations at https://www.bqa.org/about/bqa-awards.