More than 2,100 producers took advantage of free Beef Quality Assurance certification during the spring 2015 fee-free promotion, manager of Beef Quality Assurance Chase DeCoite said this week.
BQA, a beef checkoff program, shows consumers the importance that cattlemen put on animal care and handling, and the proper way of raising cattle, DeCoite says.
"The BQA program gives producers the tools to be successful in the beef industry with practical, but science-based, proven management practices that lead to a high-quality beef product," DeCoite said.
The beef checkoff estimates that 85 to 95% of the fed cattle beef supply in the U.S. is raised under BQA protocol, "which is a pretty great thing and a pretty great story to tell to the consumer," DeCoite says.
The spring 2015 BQA blitz took place between the Cattle Industry Convention in February and April 15. The more than 2,000 beef producers who took the online course represent the largest numbers DeCoite has seen so far in a free BQA drive.
"That's great news that it seems to be picking up and with each certification campaign, we're seeing increasing numbers every time which is only looking great for the industry," he says.
Even though the certification period ended April 15, producers can continue to become certified by going online to the beef checkoff BQA website.
"You're likely already doing the right thing and likely already following BQA principles, but becoming certified just allows you to share that message with those folks that are buying your cattle, with the consumer – to share with them the story of how cattle are raised, how your everyday practices are ensuring that the product that they eat is going to be wholesome, and that they're going to have an enjoyable eating experience," DeCoite advises.
Source: Beef checkoff