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Logo with picture of Cows behind

The BQA program, which stands for Beef Quality Assurance, is a voluntary national program designed to increase consumer confidence in beef products by outlining proper management techniques for cattle. By taking proper care of the animals, farmers ensure a high-quality product for consumers. Many farmers undergo this training and maintain their certification over the years. This certification demonstrates the responsibility farmers feel for their animals, the consumer, and the beef industry as a whole. 

The basis of this program is to encourage and promote appropriate management skills that are based on scientific knowledge to produce quality, healthy, and safe products. Since the program was founded over 30 years ago, there has been a major decrease in common issues such as injection site lesions and bruised meat.

Farmers must attend a classroom style lecture where they learn the principles behind the management practices. This is followed by a “chute-side” training portion, where the producers get to be hands-on and put into practice what they’ve learned.

The BQA program encourages a common sense approach to handling animals. Animals that are stressed or unhealthy cannot perform as well as healthy animals. Stressed animals won’t produce as many calves, won’t grow like they should, and can become sick from other diseases. All of these things farmers want to avoid. By keeping our animals healthier, we reduce medication and antibiotic usage and prevent production losses. Additionally, buyers of calves prefer to purchase calves that were raised by BQA certified practices and will pay more for them, because these animals tend to perform better in the feedlot than non BQA calves. 

Topics covered in this certification include cattle handling techniques and facilities, proper injection sites and methods, herd health and record keeping, safe transporting, worker safety, and environmental stewardship. 

Knowing the beef industry encourages this certification and is there is increasing participation hopefully provides reassurance to you as a consumer. The products you are buying at the grocery store are raised with animal health and well-being as a top priority, which naturally results in a safe and quality product for you.