More than 2,300 producers from across the country became Beef Quality Assurance-certified, thanks to the latest "free-certification" supported by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.
That is the highest number in the program's five-year history and means nearly 24,000 producers have taken advantage of this offer to sign up for BQA certification during these five promotions. Through the sponsorship of the BQA certification program, BIVI provides financial support for the Beef Cattle Institute, which developed the certification module.
The checkoff-funded BQA program is important to the cattle industry as it provides producers a set of best practices for producing quality beef. It also gives consumers the assurance that the beef they eat is both safe and wholesome.
"As social media grows, so much misinformation is at the fingertips of most consumers," says Montana beef producer Annabel Morgan. "We know the level of love and tenderness we have for the land and livestock. BQA allows us to tell our story about producing beef. A glimpse into our life can greatly affect the way people understand our point of view.
"BQA also gives us a resource to see what others are doing successfully so we can evolve our own operations," Morgan continued. "We are able to take seminars and learn about new products that benefit our cattle and land. Like any other business, we also change and find more efficient ways to move towards the future. Ranching is a community effort and without the advice from those before us or alongside us, we wouldn't be where we are today. With BQA, we have many practices that we can share with the public."
The BQA certification modules are customized to fit the specific needs of each segment of the cattle industry – cow-calf, stocker, feedyard and dairy operations. The program covers best-management practices, such as proper handling and administration of vaccinations and other products; using low-stress cattle-handling principles; and eliminating injection-site blemishes.
Although the free-certification period has passed, visit bqa.org to become certified.