May 12, 2011

Beef Quaility Assurance

I received my renewal packet and test in the mail yesterday and thought that I would share the importance of Beef Quality Assurance and what it is.  Our farm/ranch like many others is  BQA certified, we have taken the class to become certified and then we have to re certify every 2 years.  BQA is a national program that sets guidelines for beef cattle production to insure that the beef we raise meets the highest quality and safety and that the animals are handled and cared for the safest and most humane way possible.  The BQA is not a government run program, in fact it receives it's funding from the cattle industry through the Beef Checkoff Program.  The BQA program focuses on educating and training cattle producers, farm advisors and employees, and veterinarians on the issues in cattle, food safety, and quality and it also provides tools for verifying and documenting animal husbandry practices.  It involves not just ranchers but all segments of the beef industry including feedlots and the meat packers.  It also includes the transport of cattle and now started a dairy industry manual.  It started in the late 1970's and continues to grow, expand and improve as the industry has changes and grown. 
Some of the things that we insure though the BQA is that we have followed all labeled instructions on Pharmaceuticals, we have given them in the proper area of the animal (all injections must be given in the neck), we do not ship animals that have not been through the proper withdrawal period (each medication/vaccine has a withdrawal time which insures that all of the residues from that pharmaceutical has been cleared and excreted from the animals system).  Bottom line is yes we do potentially see a premium for the cattle we sell because they are BQA certified however, but we feel that it is also in the best interest of our cattle and the consumers to use to best management practices possible.  This is a program that strives for consumer confidence and we are proud to call all of our cattle BQA certified. 

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