CENTENNIAL, COLO. – Beef and dairy producers are being encouraged by the beef checkoff to take a proactive approach to quality assurance by implementing best practices to ensure the production of safe, wholesome beef.

The Beef Quality Assurance program is designed to provide standards and practices for high-quality beef cattle production. Science-based protocols are coupled with day-to-day, common-sense husbandry practices. BQA raises consumer confidence by demonstrating a commitment to quality within every segment of the beef industry — not just at the feedlot or packing plant.

“Consumers tell us they see farmers and ranchers as good, stand-up kind of people with integrity,” says John Maas, DVM, chair of the checkoff’s producer education committee from Clarksburg, Calif. “But these same consumers are worried about where their food comes from and how it’s produced. That’s where BQA comes into play — by instilling a level of competency. By following BQA guidelines (available at www.bqa.org), we’re demonstrating to consumers that we’re doing the right thing.”

The checkoff recently created a video that helps to frame discussions about the importance of BQA certification and of cattlemen telling their animal care story in a variety of venues to help farmers and ranchers better understand the claims anti-agriculture activists and detractors make about animal care in the beef industry.

Beginning this fall, many states are offering producers a BQA online certification process.

“BQA is a significant part of the equation for building consumer trust in beef,” Maas said. “BQA certification guarantees that farmers and ranchers have followed a recommended protocol when producing their animals. And, it’s the right thing to do.”