VINTON, Iowa — 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 showed that feeder calves brought $16.80 per head more if they came from BQA certified farms.
Chase DeCoite, director of Beef Quality Assurance said, “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 session include cattle health, stockmanship, marketing, emergency planning and meat quality.
Iowa’s BQA certification program utilizes industry partnerships to extend its reach across Iowa, 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, record keeping practices and new industry on-farm BQA Assessments, and making consumers more aware of the extra efforts taken by Iowa producers to deliver safe, wholesome beef. At the end of each meeting, all of the producers will attain their BQA certification.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Denise Schwab said these BQA Certification meetings will feature newly revised curriculum as well as management practices to improve the beef operation.
Three sessions are currently planned for northeast Iowa.
- Monday, Jan. 6, 7-9 p.m., Vinton, St. Mary’s Church, 2200 2nd Ave. The Benton County Cattlemen will offer a light dinner at 6:30 p.m.
- Friday, Jan. 31, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m., 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.
- Tuesday, Feb. 11, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Cascade, Cascade Livestock Auction, 743 IA-136.
This training teaches proper methods for hauling cattle, including biosecurity, fitness for transport, trip planning and loading, and emergency management. Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, 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 2020, as follows.
- Saturday, Dec. 28, 9 a.m., Monticello, Jones County Extension Office, 800 N. Maple St.
- Monday, Jan. 6, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., Vinton, St. Mary’s Church, 2200 2nd Ave. The Benton County Cattlemen will offer a light dinner at 6:30 p.m.
- Friday, Jan. 31, 2:30 p.m., Dubuque, Grand River Convention Center. This session is preceded by the BQA session in the same location. See that location item above.
There is no fee to attend any of the locations for either certification program, but preregistration is strongly encouraged to ensure adequate materials. To register contact the Benton County Extension Office at 319-472-4739. You also can email questions or preregistration information to Schwab at email@example.com or call her directly at 319-721-9624.
— Denise Schwab, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
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