Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) is a program in which cattle growers, from the cow-calf producer all the way to the feedlot sector, take responsibility for producing beef that is a healthy, wholesome, quality product and free from defects such as injection-site cuts and bruises. Producers in BQA programs keep detailed records of raising practices and treatments performed on their cattle. Producers involved in BQA programs assure their management, husbandry, and animal health practices meet regulations and industry standards for these practices.
History of Beef Quality Assurance
In the 1970s-80s cattlemen began looking for ways to ensure their production practices were safe and would pass the scrutiny of the consumer, so the beef industry started to focus their attention on producing a quality product. Quality is defined in multiple ways, depending on the person or industry. The focus is centered on producing products that are free from defects, consistent and meet or exceed customer expectations.
The United States Department of Agriculture began working with the beef industry to develop the Pre-harvest Beef Safety Production Program. The USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service has commended the National BQA Program, as 47 states are involved in the voluntary program. Producer driven programs have proven very successful and will continue to allow the needed flexibility to produce safe and wholesome food in an economical manner.
Why is BQA important?
When producers implement the best management practices of a BQA program, they assure their market steers, heifers, cows, and bulls are the best they can be.
BQA is valuable to all beef and dairy producers because it:
- Demonstrates commitment to food safety and quality.
- Upholds consumer confidence in valuable beef products.
- Improves sale value of marketed beef cattle.
- Enhances herd profitability through better management.
How do we use BQA?
At Cattle Empire we have embraced the importance of participating in the BQA and realize the benefits of safe and comfortable care of the animals in all of our feedyards. Each employee that has responsibilities directly related to the care and well being of the animals are certified in BQA. We even take the opportunity at the Beef Empire Day's held in Garden City, KS to participate in the calf handling competition not only to sharpen our skills, but also to show that not only do we know what we are doing but that we are some of the best care givers in the industry.
Interested in learning more? Check out the Feedyard Assesment Guide and the BQA Manual to see what it is we are looking for at Cattle Empire to make sure we are exceeding the standards!