The Beef Quality Assurance program continues to grow, with more than 100,000 cattle producers now certified through its online learning system. The online option was introduced by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, in early 2017. Since the BQA program was initiated in the early 1990s hundreds of thousands have become BQA-certified through in-person and online training, with an estimated 85% of the U.S. fed beef supply now touched by BQA-certified operations.
The Beef Checkoff-funded BQA program is a nationally coordinated, state-implemented program that provides information to U.S. beef producers and beef consumers of how husbandry techniques can be coupled with scientific knowledge to raise cattle.
Online BQA training provides 24/7 access to the program through a series of videos and animations. While in-person training is still available through numerous sessions conducted by in-state BQA coordinators throughout the country, online certification provides a chance for certification at any time. Three courses are available (cow/calf, stocker/backgrounder and feedyard) to deliver a program that most closely aligns with the individual’s operation. The tools are also available in Spanish. BQA Transportation training for professional cattle haulers and farmers and ranchers is also available through the platform.
“Over the past year we’ve doubled our online certifications, which is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Bob Smith, DVM, chair of the BQA Advisory Board. “This demonstrates that U.S. beef producers and transporters continue to embrace this tool for optimizing quality in their operations. Those participating in the BQA program can be proud of their work, which gives consumers more confidence in the beef they’re buying.”