With the latest round of participants included, more than 11,000 producers have made a commitment to quality over the past two years through the free certification partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.
The checkoff-funded BQA program gives producers a set of best practices for producing a safe and high-quality beef product. It also gives consumers the assurance that the beef they eat is both safe and wholesome, the Beef Checkoff says.
"BQA provides a solid foundation for animal welfare and disease prevention," says Dr. John Maas, extension veterinarian at the University of California–Davis, and 2013 BQA Educator of the Year. "Once we adopt the BQA attitude of cattle health, care and welfare, things just keep getting better naturally."
Although the free certification period has passed, producers may still become BQA certified.
"Everybody's working to make our product better," says Maas. "Research is the backbone of BQA, and it's based on science and experience to make sure those tools work for cattle and ranchers in the real world."
Working with cattle and the people who care for them is what Maas likes best. "Using the discipline I've gained academically and through practice to help folks, and knowing there are cows behind them, makes all the difference in the world."