|North Dakota State University -- NDSU Agriculture Communication
7 Morrill Hall, Fargo ND, 58105-5655, Tel: 701-231-7881, Fax: 701-231-7044
Why Beef Quality Assurance?
North Dakota cattle producers are developing new ways to market their product through a program called Beef Quality Assurance (BQA).
"BQA certification is a procedure for cattleman that gives them access to markets which require source-verified feeder cattle," said Greg Lardy, Extension beef cattle specialist. "One of the goals of the program is to improve demand for beef by increasing the quality and consistency of the beef products we are producing."
North Dakota producers whose calves are BQA certified are finding new opportunities in the Nebraska Corn Fed Beef Program and other markets that pay a premium for BQA certified calves, Lardy says.
BQA in North Dakota started in early 1999, which makes this year’s calf crop the first to be BQA certified. BQA certified operations usually market 125,000 head annually, but the number actually marketed through the program this year is expected to be less, said Lardy. The program was developed nationwide in 1982 because of a demand from feedlots for a background history on the calves they were buying. There are currently programs in 47 states.
Training sessions are held throughout the year in many areas across North Dakota. Upcoming training sessions are to be held on Dec. 12 in Forman and Valley City, and Dec. 13 in Kulm.
Many North Dakota producers have heard about BQA, but are unsure of what their responsibilities would be if they would get involved with the program. According to Lisa Lee, North Dakota BQA specialist, some producers are concerned that it will add extra costs or unnecessary work to their operation, while others are afraid that it will bring unwanted regulations. In most cases, these concerns are unnecessary, Lee says.
To get started, a producer must first attend a BQA training session to learn the guidelines they are required to follow. According to Lee, most producers already practice these guidelines in their operation, but are not recognized for their effort.
"In BQA we stress proper injection site location and administration, individual identification, and source verification. We do not require a specific vaccination protocol for calves, which is a major concern for some producers," said Lardy.
For more information, contact Lisa Lee at 328-5134, or your local county extension agent.
Source: Greg Lardy, (701) 231-7660, email@example.com