Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) practices provide the cornerstone to both the quality care that I offer to my animals and the safety of the beef that they produce. One of the first things that I did when I arrived at the feedyard an Ivy League educated yet agriculturally clueless 22 year old woman was attend a BQA training. I view this training as an absolutely pivotol part of my “cattle education”.
The mission statement of BQA is “To maximize consumer confidence and acceptance of beef by focusing the producers’ attention to daily production practices that influence the safety, wholesomeness and quality of beef and beef products.” I spend my days caring for animals that will be ultimately harvested to feed to my children and to yours. I take that responsibility very seriously. Food quality and safety, and cattle care are the highest priorities for me. Healthy cattle make healthy beef. That’s absolutely the bottom line to me. It has to be, what I grow on my farm is what I cook and put on my table to serve my family and I know that it is what you are purchasing at the grocery store to feed to yours.
There are several core components to BQA: feedstuffs (animal nutrition and feed ingredients), vaccine and preventative health product administration, medications (antibiotics), care and husbandry practices, and record keeping.
BQA not only provides the cornerstone of how I care for my animals and raise safe beef, but it also is a constantly evolving program that I work hard with other cattlemen and our professional consultants to continually improve. I am the chairman of the Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance Advisory Committee, and was the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association 2009 BQA Producer of the Year Award winner. I do this volunteer work because I CARE. I CARE about my animals and I CARE about the safety of the beef that I produce.
Because of BQA’s incredible importance to my cattle and my farm, you will see it talked about frequently in my blogs.