VINTON, Iowa — Eastern Iowa beef producers are invited to learn about the process of completing the BQA Feedyard Assessment at one of three July field days offered through Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The feedyard assessment is a review of employee training, standard operating procedures, record keeping, animal health protocols, handling practices, and equipment/facility maintenance. It's also a tool to identify areas of potential risk or opportunities for improvement.
Denise Schwab, beef specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, said the feedyard assessment also is the foundation of the third-party audits required by Tyson Fresh Meats FarmCheck program. Cargill has announced it will require a similar audit system in 2018.
"The purpose of these field days is to educate feedlot operators on how to complete the Beef Quality Assurance feedyard self-assessment," Schwab said. "At each location, we’ll score the processing area for working cattle, bunk and water management, and animal and pen cleanliness, and discuss the importance of a veterinary-client-patient relationship."
Participants will also be certified in the Beef Quality Assurance program. Doug Bear, director of industry relations for the Iowa Beef Industry Council, said it's important for beef producers to complete the program for a number of reasons.
“By participating in the Iowa Beef Quality Assurance Feedyard Assessment, you are positioning your business to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead to ensure a safe, wholesome and quality beef and beef products for consumers," he said. "You are taking positive action to demonstrate that cattle producers are concerned about the product they produce as well as the live animals in their care.“
Each field day begins at 10 a.m. and lasts for an hour. There is no fee to attend, but Schwab encouraged people to preregister by calling the Benton County Extension office at 319-472-4739 to ensure adequate supplies for all attendees.
Field day dates and locations
- July 11, Ron Carpenter feedlot, 2424 10th St, Lamont, with Dr. Jeremy Johnson and Tom Robinson
- July 12, Justin Reiter feedlot, 28598 9th Ave., Bernard, with Dr. Phil Reemtsma and Dave Rueber
- July 25, Ryan Jargo feedlot, 4201 120th St. Clinton, with Dr. Mike Slattery and Dave Rueber
Schwab said these Beef Feedlot Assessment Field Days are provided in partnership with the Iowa Beef Industry Council, as well as local veterinarians and beef nutritionists.