BQA: The Right Thing to Do
BQA program seeks to maximize consumer confidence in beef.
by Troy Smith, Angus Media field editor
MITCHELL, NEB. (Nov. 18, 2019) — Libby Bigler is confident that a majority of beef cattle producers want to do the right thing. The Colorado beef quality assurance (BQA) coordinator told producers attending the 26th Range Beef Cow Symposium hosted Nov. 18-20 in Mitchell, Neb., that attaining and maintaining BQA certification is, simply, the right thing to do. Bigler was joined by Jesse Fulton, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) director of producer education, who said BQA strengthens the relationship between beef producers and consumers.
By seeking training and certification, beef producers demonstrate a commitment to using best management practices that promote livestock health and comfort, said Libby Biggler, Colorado BQA coordinator.
Bigler explained that maximizing consumer confidence in beef is the mission of the BQA program, which is supported through the beef checkoff. At a time when consumers want to know more about how their food is produced, food production practices come under increased scrutiny. Bigler said that by seeking training and certification, beef producers demonstrate a commitment to using best management practices (BMPs) that promote livestock health and comfort. But BQA-certified producers also demonstrate a commitment to consistently produce a safe, wholesome and high-quality product that consumers can trust.
Fulton discussed survey data revealing how beef production is frequently misunderstood by an increasingly urbanized consumer base. According to Fulton, about 63% of respondents expressed concern for the welfare of animals raised for beef. For about 30% of those respondents, animal welfare was a chief concern.
BQA strengthens the relationship between beef producers and consumers, said Jesse Fulton, NCBA director of producer education.
Fulton said that might be partially explained by the fact 43% of survey respondents believed that all beef animals were born and raised in confinement, spending their entire lives in feedlots. They are unaware that the vast majority of beef cattle spend all but their last few months on ranches and other grazing operations.
On the bright side, however, Fulton said 82% of consumers surveyed responded positively to videos sharing the BQA message and tagline, “The right way is the only way.”
Also included on the Symposium agenda were breakout sessions addressing animal health product handling and storage, chute-side product administration procedures, animal fitness for transport and humane euthanasia, plus demonstration of low-stress cattle handling. Producers had the opportunity to complete the necessary test and become BQA-certified.
You can listen to this presentation by accessing the audio in the Newsroom at www.rangebeefcow.com.
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