Beef Quality Assurance Continues to EvolveThu, 25 Sep 2014 16:11:14 CDT
Dan Thomson has seen the evolution of the Beef Quality Assurance program. As the Director of the Beef Cattle Institute Kansas State University he has seen how BQA has impacted the producer at the individual herd level all the way to the big picture impact for the entire beef industry. BQA program has been around about 30 years. The program
initially aimed to make sure antibiotic residues when cattle were shipped to slaughter. The program originated in the southern great plains at the Hitch Enterprises with the Texas Cattle Feeders Association to develop that model. The BQA program was written by veterinarians and producers for veterinarians and producers to produce a safe, wholesome, nutritious and affordable product. Thomson said the program has made big strides over the last 10 years.
"When we start to think about all of the trainings that are out there, whether its about antibiotic resistance, food safety, animal welfare, stewardship and sustainability, the beef quality assurance program entails education for producers on those subjects," Thomson said.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm News Director Ron Hays interviewed Thompson on the BQA program. You can listen to the feature by Clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
Education has been central to the BQA program, but more and more the beef industry is looking at additional steps beyond that individual education with adding implementation and verification.
"Education is that individual person getting certified or taking the beef quality assurance training," Thomson said. "The implementation is kind of a new tool from beef quality assurance, which is an on-farm assessment. A veterinarian can come on farm and do an assessment to make sure that you are implementing beef quality assurance practices and verification is something the beef checkoff can not do. The beef checkoff can not differentiate one producer from another, so you pass or fail or do an assessment or don't do an assessment, really the verification part will be done by a third party, somebody outside our group, somebody outside the beef board."
It's these additional steps that could help the cattle industry more successfully push back against critics with how producers raise cattle and produce beef in letting consumers know producers are doing it right.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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