ORANGE CITY, Iowa – Major beef packers are requiring that feedlot producers who sell cattle to their plants must be Beef Quality Assurance certified. To help northwest Iowa cattle producers accomplish this, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Beef Center, Iowa Beef Industry Council and Iowa Cattlemen’s Association are co-sponsoring a BQA workshop on Tuesday, Aug. 29 at the ISU Extension and Outreach Sioux County office from 10 a.m. to noon.
ISU Extension and Outreach beef specialist Beth Doran said that while the certification is mandatory for producers in order to sell to packers, the information producers receive from the BQA session is valuable in and of itself.
“Consumer surveys indicate that consumers want to know how the beef they eat is raised,” Doran said. "The BQA program addresses this and provides best management practices regarding cattle care and handling, management of feed ingredients and medication, biosecurity and record keeping."
Other topics featured at the workshop include feedlot self-assessments, current and future trends in beef production, and results from the 2016 National Beef Quality Audit. This audit focused on cattle transportation, animal identification, carcass quality and animal well-being. One message from the audit was consistent and important – BQA is an important strategy to increase consumer confidence. The program flyer has all the details for the session.
Workshop participants will obtain their BQA certification, which will be effective three years from the training date. To maintain integrity of the BQA program, all BQA certification in Iowa is administered by the Iowa Beef Industry Council.
There is no cost to attend the workshop, but participants are encouraged to preregister to assure adequate materials by contacting Doran by phone at 712-737-4230 or firstname.lastname@example.org.