Beef Quality Assurance Transportation certification will be required for commercial beef cattle haulers and producers who deliver fed-cattle directly to most major packing plants beginning Jan. 1.
This program plays a critical role in the health and welfare of cattle, says Iowa State University Extension beef specialist Erika Lundy. “The BQAT program is focused on sharing best management practices for cattle handling guidelines, weather considerations and driver safety," she says. "It also includes information on developing biosecurity and emergency action plans.”
One such BQAT certification workshop will be Dec. 16 at the ISU Armstrong Research Farm and Wallace Learning Center in southwest Iowa. Located at 53020 Hitchcock Ave., near Lewis, the event is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. It is free thanks to the sponsorship of Iowa Premium, a National Beef Company. For more information, see the program flyer.
For questions or to RSVP contact Lundy by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Adair County Extension office at 641-743-8412. RSVPs are strongly encouraged, although walk-ins are welcome. Those who are unable to attend this workshop may wish to take the certification online at bqa.org.
If you want to get BQA certified, you can do it from home. Online training options are now available from anywhere, and Iowa qualifies.
The checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance program launched BQAT, a training and certification program for cattle transportation, in 2017. The national program provides cattle producers and haulers with comprehensive training based on their roles in the cattle industry.
With consumers demanding more transparency from the beef industry and animal welfare becoming an increasingly important priority of consumers, it is vital that the beef industry share the story of BQA, says Chase Decoite, director of beef quality assurance for NCBA. BQAT training helps to ensure that cattle are handled and raised under BQA standards from pasture to plate, without any lapses.
Major beef packer Tyson made a commitment to require BQA certification at the feedyard level of its supply chain by Jan. 1, 2019, and BQAT certification of all haulers and transporters by Jan. 1, 2020.
“Commitments like this show the beef supply chain’s commitment to science-based, industry-supported cattle management and quality assurance programs,” Decoite says.
“The BQA Transportation training and certification program was a long time coming,” says Josh White, director of producer education for NCBA. “By educating cattle haulers and producers on best practices in cattle transportation, BQA is helping make improvements in cattle care and beef quality. Participating in the BQAT transportation program is an indicator that the beef cattle and dairy cattle industries are committed to responsible animal care during transportation, and makes both the BQA and dairy FARM animal care programs more complete.”