For the second year, the beef checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance program is giving producers the chance to become certified for free thanks to a partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. and the Beef Cattle Institute housed at Kansas State University.
The cost of BQA certification is normally $25 to $50, but from Feb. 3, through April 15, 2014, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. will defray the cost of the certification or recertification, making it free.
"BQA provides cattlemen with practical management tools they need to produce safe, high-quality beef for our consumers, says Ryan Ruppert, senior director of Beef Quality Assurance. "BQA also helps discover practices which can improve efficiency and ultimately, profitability."
In 2013, more than 3,500 producers took advantage of the Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc.'s support of BQA online certification.
"One of the challenges that beef producers face is having all of their employees become BQA certified," says Dr. Jerry Woodruff, professional services veterinarian with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. "BIVI's partnership with BQA helps offset some of those expenses, and we encourage producers and their employees to use the online training programs."
The BQA online programs are customized for cow/calf, stocker, feedlot and dairy operations. Developed and managed by the independent Beef Cattle Institute, these easy-to-use modules teach sound management techniques that can be applied to their operations. They also help cattle operations tell their story to consumers who might not understand all of the safety measures cattlemen take in producing the food on the table.
Visit www.bqa.org/team to get started.