Beef quality assurance program planned
POTEAU--The LeFlore County Cattleman’s Association in conjunction with Oklahoma State University Extension Service will be offering a beef quality assurance certification program at the quarterly LCCA meeting held on Jan. 22.
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Kiamichi Technology Center in Poteau. The beef quality assurance (BQA) program is a program that has been around for a long time but has acquired more attention recently as several beef packers have announced this year that they will be requiring BQA certification from their suppliers.
The packers indicate that the initiative is driven by retailers and consumers as interest in how food is produced is high. While BQA certification is voluntary for cow/calf producers and stocker cattle operators, it is often just good business.
Beef quality assurance is a nationally coordinated, state implemented program that provides systematic information to U.S. beef producers and beef consumers of how common sense husbandry techniques can be coupled with accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under optimum management and environmental conditions.
BQA guidelines are designed to make certain all beef consumers can take pride in what they purchase – and can trust and have confidence in the entire beef industry.
Good management practices are the core of the beef quality assurance program, and often add value to cattle as they progress through the marketing channels. The Oklahoma quality beef network value added program has documented that calves following a vac-45 type of preconditioning program will generally sell at a premium to non-preconditioned calves.
Immunity and animal welfare are proven allies. Studies have demonstrated the relationship between animal health and beef quality, and the importance of disease prevention, rather than reliance on treatments. At the ranch level, producers stand to gain from improved animal health and performance.
BQA programs have evolved to include best practices around good record keeping and protecting herd health, which can result in more profits for producers. When better quality cows leave the farm and reach the market place, the producer, packer, and consumer all benefit.
While there is no cost for the program, an RSVP is appreciated. To RSVP or for more information, contact the LeFlore County OSU Extension Office at 918-647-8231.
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