The UW-Madison’s Division of Extension and the Wisconsin Beef Council are finishing up the last of in-person Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification meetings that have been offered. Five in-person sessions remain. BQA certification is valid for three years, so producers who certified in 2018-2019 will need to be recertified.
To attend the in-person meetings, it is recommended that farmers 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. 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.
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.
These are the last scheduled in-person BQA certification meetings; registration can be found at https://tinyurl.com/2hr5karf. Those who still need to get certified can complete the course online by going to https://www.bqa.org/ and clicking on ‘Certification’.
Jan. 11, 5:30 pm, Viroqua Extension Office Meeting Room, 608-637-5276 Jan. 11, 5:30 pm, La Crosse Admin Center, Basement Room, La Crosse, 608-785-9593 Jan. 11, 5:30 pm, Sauk County Extension, Baraboo, 608-355-3250 Jan. 11, 5:30 pm, Marquette County Service Center, Montello, 608-339-4237 Feb. 11, 1:00 pm, Eagles Club Banquet Hall, Chippewa Falls, 715-839-4712
Any questions related to BQA certification or upcoming meeting dates may contact the Wisconsin Beef Council at 1-800-728-2333.