Thanks to a partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., the beef checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance, or BQA, program is again offering free online BQA certification for approximately two months. This opportunity is open to all beef and dairy producers, veterinarians, allied partners, agricultural friends, and students from September 1-October 31, 2014.
Beef Quality Assurance provides cattlemen with the tools they need to produce the safest, highest quality beef in the world while also looking at ways to make their operations more efficient and productive. The BQA Program is the gold standard of livestock handling and animal welfare programs to demonstrate the industry's commitment to continually improve the sound production practices most cattlemen use every day to build beef demand.
Online BQA certification has customized programs
The online BQA program has customized programs specific to cow/calf, stocker, feedlot or dairy operations. These easy-to-use modules teach sound management techniques cattle producers can apply to their operation. The cattle industry has embraced BQA because it is the right thing to do; and it also helps cattle operations tell their story to consumers who might not understand all of the safety measures cattlemen take in producing the food on the table.
People who are interested in taking advantage of this free online BQA certification opportunity should start at www.bqa.org/team for the online modules. Click on the "Become a Team Member Today" link for Beef Quality Assurance and Beef Cattle Care or one of the other 18 categories available (Comprehensive Beef Quality Assurance–recommended), register using the passcode: BIVIBQA for your payment method. After all videos within a specific category have been observed with quizzes passed successfully, you will become BQA certified.
For more information, contact Doug Bear, Iowa's BQA coordinator, at [email protected] or 515-296-2305.
New beef facilities tour shows expansion options for young producers
In other news of interest to beef producers, the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University released the following announcement on September 3:
All signs point to Iowa as the most economical place to feed high quality beef cattle, and young cattle enthusiasts are eager to fill the void. Two new harvesting facilities in the state, an abundance of cheap feedstuffs, and record-high fed cattle prices are the formula, and innovative beef cattle facilities are the solution, according to Patrick Wall. The Iowa State University Extension beef program specialist says a three-location tour in southeast Iowa will provide a look at expansion options.
"The Iowa Beef Center, via the Beginning and Young Livestock Producer Network, is proud to host the free tour on Thursday, September 25," Wall says. "It begins near Albia with a stop at a pitted, covered feeding structure. We'll then travel to rural Oskaloosa to view a hoop and monoslope structure side-by-side in operation. After the third stop at a new calving and cattle handling facility near Otley, we'll end with dinner at the Marion County Extension office in Knoxville."
A chance to learn about new structures and ask questions
The tour offers young producers looking at expanding their beef cattle enterprise the opportunity to check out these new structures and to ask questions of those doing chores in them every day, Wall says. The tour also will provide nutrition information, and materials that compare manure handling and value from the various facility types. An event brochure is available on the IBC website.
"This is a huge investment for young farmers, and anything we can do to help them limit risk and find the building that fits their labor and resources will benefit the industry in the long run," he adds. People are welcome to attend any or all of the stops, including dinner, at no charge, but preregistration is needed by Monday, Sept. 22. For more information or to preregister, contact Wall by phone at 515-450-7665 or email [email protected].