Checkoff encourages BQA

News
Oct 22, 2010
by WLJ

The beef checkoff continues to encourage beef and dairy producers to be proactive when it comes to Beef Quality Assurance (BQA): learning about best practices and how to utilize them to help produce safe, wholesome beef for consumers.

The BQA program is designed to provide standards and practices for high-quality beef cattle production.

These science-based protocols are coupled with day-today common sense husbandry practices. BQA raises consumer confidence by demonstrating a commitment to quality within every segment of the beef industry—not just at the feedlot or packing plant.

“Consumers tell us they see farmers and ranchers as good, stand-up kind of people with integrity. But, these same consumers are worried about where their food comes from and how it’s produced,” says John Maas, DVM, chair of the checkoff’s Producer Education committee from Clarksburg, CA. “That’s where BQA comes into play—by instilling a level of competency. By following BQA guidelines, we’re demonstrating to consumers that we’re doing the right thing.”

To help farmers and ranchers better understand the claims anti-agriculture activists and detractors make about animal care in the beef industry, the checkoff recently created a video that helps to frame discussions about the importance of BQA certification and of cattlemen telling their animal care story in a variety of venues.

In addition, the new checkoff-funded www.bqa. org website is well-organized, user-friendly and designed to be the one place to go to learn more about BQA. The interactive site includes many training videos and resources previously not available online.

Also available, starting this fall for producers who want to be BQA-certified, many states are offering an online certification process.

“BQA is a significant part of the equation for building consumer trust in beef,” concludes Maas. “BQA certification guarantees that farmers and ranchers have followed a recommended protocol when producing their animals. And, it’s the right thing to do.”

For more information about BQA, contact your state BQA coordinator or visit www.mybeefcheckoff com/bqa. — WLJ

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