The UW-Madison’s Division of Extension and the Wisconsin Beef Council will be hosting a set schedule of in-person Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification meetings over the coming months. In-person sessions are intended for those who cannot complete the online certification available by going to https://www.bqa.org/ and clicking on ‘Certification’. Farmers are encouraged not to wait until the last minute to earn BQA certification or to recertify, as it is better that a current certification overlaps rather than expires.
To attend the in-person meetings, farmers must register 7 days before the meeting date as attendance is limited based on location capacity and to follow any COVID guidelines in place at that time. NO walk-ins will be allowed. Due to limited capacity, it is encouraged that one individual per farm attend the in-person meetings. The individual attending the meeting will hold the BQA certification; family members and employees are covered by that certification when it is filed with the market(s). It is each individuals’ responsibility to share certification details with markets.
To register for an in-person session, go to https://tinyurl.com/2hr5karf or call one of the County Extension offices listed below. *Note that for all Extension meetings, masks and social distancing may be required. Individuals not willing to comply will be asked to leave. Pre-registration for each location closes seven days before the meeting date.
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.” National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) certification is considered a BQA equivalent. The packer requirements represent their policy, not that of BQA or the Beef Checkoff program. Farmers with questions about BQA certification requirements should contact their markets or buyers directly.
BQA does more than just help beef producers 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.
A complete list of in-person BQA certification meetings can be found at https://tinyurl.com/2hr5karf.
Below are the dates scheduled through September. July 20, 1 pm, Youth & Ag Building, Lancaster, 608-723-2125 August 26, 5.30 pm, Dodger Bowl, Dodgeville, 608-930-9850 Sept 7, 1 pm, Green County Justice Building, Monroe, 608-328-9440 Sept 9, 5:30 pm, American Legion, Sparta, 608-269-8722 Sept 11, 9.30 am, UW River Falls Mann Valley Farm, 715-531-1950 Sept. 23, 5:30 pm, Lumberyard Bar & Grill, Bonduel, 715-526-6136 Sept. 28, 5:30 pm, Darlington Multi-purpose Building, 608-776-4820
Any questions related to BQA certification or upcoming meeting dates may contact the Wisconsin Beef Council at 1-800-728-2333.