Beef Quality Assurance program raises awareness

Feb 20, 2009
by WLJ
Beef Quality Assurance program raises awareness

The Sac County Cattlemen, Fort Dodge Animal Health, and the Beef Checkoff helped sponsor a Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program Jan. 13 at the feedlot of Kevin and Terri Carstensen outside of Odebolt, IA. A special thank you also goes to JR Pauley and Ullrich Farms for donating a steer for the program. More than 55 cattle producers attended the program. Beef producers from Sac, Carroll, Pocahontas, Greene, Cherokee, Crawford, Buena Vista, Calhoun and Ida counties participated in the program. “Beef quality assurance starts on the farm. By participating in this program, producers show they are willing to stand behind their product,” says Brian Waddingham, BQA coordinator and director of Industry Relations for the Iowa Beef Industry Council.

Iowa’s BQA certification program, which began in 1999, is fully funded with Beef Checkoff dollars. The BQA program has certified nearly 5,800 producers to date. The BQA program has helped to inform beef producers about the latest management practices, such as proper injection site techniques and record keeping practices, and has also helped to make consumers more aware of the extra efforts taken by Iowa producers to deliver safe, wholesome beef. “In today’s food market, consumer confidence is built on food safety, food quality, and brand recognition,” stated Kevin Carstensen.

“Beef Quality Assurance certification is the tool for producers to show consumers that the beef industry is providing them with a safe, wholesome and nutritious product.”

For more than 20 years, the beef industry’s BQA program has encouraged producers to adopt practices that lead to higher quality carcasses and greater consumer confidence in beef. American and international consumers expect safe, quality beef. Iowa beef producers work to provide this expectation through the BQA program.

Maintaining consumer demand for beef requires a commitment to quality beef production, not only at the feedlot or packing plant, but also within every segment of the cattle industry. “Concern over food safety is an important consumer issue. It is of utmost importance that the consumer knows beef is a safe and wholesome product,” says Waddingham. “Consumers in Iowa should be proud of their beef producers and feel confident that the beef they are consuming is safe, wholesome and nutritious.” — WLJ