SCOTTSBLUFF – The final 2021 Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Certification training was held at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center on Dec 16.
According to a document from the Panhandle Research and Extension Center (PHREC), “The BQA program educates beef producers on animal health best-management practices, proper stockmanship, and proper animal welfare guidelines.”
The training began with a brief history of the program and the host of the program explained why the BQA certification is important.
“This demonstrates the producers commandments food safety and quality. So, when you adopt and implement BQA on your operation, it actually gives you a way to tell your story to consumer, I follow these guidelines. This is how I raised my cattle to ensure you have a safe, wholesome beef product on your plate when or when you go to the grocery store.” Said Jesse Fulton, Director of Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance.
Fulton explained that the BQA certification can also help sell beef as some retailers are not buying product from operations that are not certified.
Cattle handling techniques were also discussed. Proper chute entry, proper chute departure, and the animal flight zone are important to remember as auditors for the BQA will look for these items during their visit.
Transportation was another topic that was discussed. Fulton stressed the importance of having an unloading plan before the initial load as it would save time and cut down on stress later.
The handling of non-ambulatory animals is another point looked at by the BQA program. If the cow is going downhill after treatment, the producer needs to evaluate if the animal has some salvage value.
Other topics discussed during the training included vaccines, vaccine residue, the importance of the producer’s relationship with a veterinarian, lesions, brusing, and proper euthanasia techniques.
For more information regarding the BQA program including future certification trainings, contact Jesse Fulton at (308) 633-0158 or [email protected]