Mandan News

Beef quality assurance certification

NDUS Extension Agent
By Jackie Buckley

Dates to Remember
Feb. 10 – 4-H/FFA Livestock Judging Workout, Mandan High School, 7 p.m.
Feb. 11-12 – KFYR Agri-International, Bismarck Civic Center, Bismarck
Feb. 13 – Morton County SCD Meeting, NRCS Office, 9:30 a.m.
Feb. 14-15 – NDSU Saddle and Sirloin Little International, NDSU Fargo
Feb. 20 – Morton County BQA Training, USDA ARS Station, Bridge Conference Center, 1 p.m.

Beef Quality Assurance Scheduled
The NDSU Extension Service Morton County will be holding its Beef Quality Assurance Training meeting on Thursday, Feb. 20, at the USDA Northern Great Plains Research Station starting at 1:00 p.m. in the Bridge Conference Center located south of Mandan on Highway 6.

Beef Quality Assurance is a producer driven program in which cattle producers, from the cow-calf producer to the feedlot sector, assume responsibility for producing beef that is a healthy, wholesome, quality product and free from defects such as injection-site lesions and bruises.

Producers in BQA programs keep detailed records of husbandry practices and treatments performed on their cattle. Further, producers involved in BQA programs assure their management, husbandry, and animal health practices meet regulatory and industry standards for these practices.

The goal of the North Dakota Beef Quality Assurance Program is: North Dakota Beef Quality Assurance is an educational program to enhance the reputation and promotion of North Dakota beef by assuring the production of a consistently wholesome and healthy product.

Producers should be involved in the BQA program to assure each segment of the beef industry, from the cow-calf producer to the end consumer, that the product they are purchasing is safe, healthy, and wholesome and produced following beef quality assurance guidelines. Producing beef in a manner that follows BQA guidelines can assure the consumer that beef is safe, wholesome, and of high quality.
Economically, there is potential for receiving a premium for calves that are “source verified.” Feedlots have a huge interest in verifiable records of the production and husbandry practices that have been performed on the cattle entering their lots. In some areas, producers are currently receiving a $3 to $5 premium for “source verified” calves that were worked once at branding and sold through the local auction market.

There are three parts to producer participation in the North Dakota Beef Quality Assurance Program
* Attend a training and certification session and obtain a producer or operation identification number.
* Raise calves according to NDBQA requirements.
* Market feeder cattle as NDBQA certified.

Producers must first attend a producer training and certification session conducted by NDBQA personnel to participate in the North Dakota Beef Quality Assurance Program. After attending a training and certification session, each producer or operation will be assigned a NDBQA identification number. If calves are produced following NDBQA certification requirements, and with the appropriate records kept, they may then be marketed as “NDBQA Certified.” For the year 2014 calf crop to be certified, producers MUST attend a training session before their calving season starts in 2014. Producers will need to be re-certified every three years.