The Marinette & Oconto County offices of UW-Madison Division of Extension and the Wisconsin Beef Council will be hosting an in-person Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification session on December 1st. The session will begin at 5:30 p.m. and is being held at the Pound Town Hall, on the east edge of Village of Coleman, at W8484 Cty. Hwy. B. In addition to the BQA training, Agriculture Agent Scott Reuss will be sharing forage management resources and conducting forages and grazing Question and Answer session with attendees.
One member of a farm family must attend for a farm to be BQA certified, but multiple members are welcome to attend this local training site. Farms can register to attend by either visiting the state-wide registration website at https://tinyurl.com/2hr5karf or they can contact Reuss by calling 715-732-7510 or calling/texting to 715-701-0966. Registration is required. Anyone registering within 7 days of the session should contact Reuss directly, rather than using the web process.
Producers can also become BQA certified by attending the online certification available at https://www.bqa.org/ Whichever method a farm chooses to use to gain BQA certification, it is the farm’s responsibility to file their certification with markets through which they market animals. BQA certification is not a legal requirement, but instead is required to be able to market animals through certain vendors. Buyers representing some large packers and processors (including Tyson) only purchase cattle from farms selling beef breed types of finished cattle that are BQA Certified. In addition, JBS requires that producers selling cattle directly to their plants sign an affidavit stating that they are “in compliance with all applicable state or national BQA certification and verification programs.” The packer requirements represent their policy, not that of BQA or the Beef Checkoff program.
Dairy farms which are certified through National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) are considered as BQA equivalent. Farmers with questions about BQA certification requirements should contact their markets or buyers directly. BQA does more than just help beef farms capture more value from their cattle: BQA also reflects a positive public image and instills consumer confidence in the beef industry. When producers implement the best management practices of a BQA program, they assure the cattle they sell are the best they can be. Consumer research, conducted by the Beef Checkoff, showed that learning about BQA made consumers more confident in beef safety and animal welfare and improved positive consumer perceptions of how cattle are raised for food.
Farms or consumers with questions about the BQA process or any other agricultural management question can contact Reuss through the phone numbers above or by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org