Beef producers in eastern Iowa are encouraged to become Beef Quality Assurance certified, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it also adds value to the calf crop. A recent study by Colorado State University shows that feeder calves brought $16.80 per head more if they came from BQA certified farms.
Chase DeCoite, director of Beef Quality Assurance for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says, “These study results clearly show that participation in BQA and BQA certification can provide real value to beef producers. It means that the initiatives within the industry are rewarding cattlemen and women who take action to improve their operations and our industry.”
BQA certification is required by several major beef processors. Topics covered in the certification meetings include cattle health, stockmanship, marketing, emergency planning and meat quality.
Helping producers meet requirements
Iowa’s BQA certification program uses industry partnerships to extend its reach across the state and is funded with beef checkoff dollars.
The BQA program has helped to inform industry representatives and beef producers about the latest management practices such as proper injection site techniques, recordkeeping practices and new industry on-farm BQA Assessments. At the end of each meeting, all cattle producers who are present will attain their BQA certification.
ISU Extension beef program specialist Denise Schwab says these BQA Certification meetings will feature newly revised curriculum as well as management practices to improve the beef operation.
BQA training sessions
Three BQA training sessions are currently planned for northeast Iowa.
- Jan. 6, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Vinton, St. Mary’s Church, 2200 Second Ave. The Benton County Cattlemen will offer a light dinner at 6:30 p.m.
- Jan. 31, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., at Dubuque, Grand River Convention Center. This session follows the Driftless Region Beef Conference at the same location. Box lunches will be available for those who attend the conference.
- Feb. 11, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Cascade, Cascade Livestock Auction, 743 Iowa Highway 136.
BQA Transportation training teaches proper methods for hauling cattle, including biosecurity, fitness for transport, trip planning and loading, and emergency management. Beginning Jan. 1, BQA Transportation certification will be required to deliver cattle to Tyson Fresh Meats, Cargill and National Beef/Iowa Premium. National Beef is sponsoring these workshops for commercial truckers and farmers who deliver cattle directly.
This training also will be offered on three dates in northeast Iowa. The first of these trainings is in late December and the others in January, as follows:
- Dec. 28 at 9 a.m., in Monticello, Jones County Extension office, 800 N. Maple Street.
- Jan. 6, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., in Vinton, St. Mary’s Church, 2200 Second Ave. The Benton County Cattlemen will offer a light dinner at 6:30 pm.
- Jan. 31, at 2:30 p.m., in Dubuque, Grand River Convention Center. This session is preceded by the BQA session in the same location (address listed previously).
There is no fee to attend any of the locations for either of the BQA certification programs, but preregistration is strongly encouraged to ensure adequate materials. To register, contact the ISU Benton County Extension office at 319-472-4739. You also can email questions or preregistration info to Denise Schwab at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 319-721-9624.