NDSU Extension - Dickey County


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Beef Quality Assurance Required by Processors

Breana Kiser, Agriculture and Natural Resource Agent

11-1-18 BQAAs of Jan. 1, 2019 one of the nation's largest processors of U.S. beef, Tyson Foods, will require that all beef they purchase is sourced from Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certified producers. Additionally, by Jan. 1, 2020 all cattle transporters hauling to Tyson Foods' harvest facilities will need BQA Transportation (BQAT) certification. Along with Tyson; JBS, Cargill, and Greater Omaha will also require all beef they purchase be BQA certified.

Tyson Foods, which processes a quarter of all U.S. beef, is following the lead of its foodservice customers. Some retail outlets and restaurants, such as Wendy’s, will buy only beef sourced from BQA certified farms and ranches.

BQA remains a voluntary, checkoff program aimed at ensuring proper management techniques and commitment to quality for cattle by farmers to help raise consumer confidence in the end products. The BQA program is a producer driven program in which cattle producers, from the cow-calf producer to the feedlot sector, assume responsibility for producing beef that is a healthy, wholesome, quality product and free from defects such as injection-site lesions and bruises. Producers in BQA programs keep detailed records of husbandry practices and treatments performed on their cattle. Further, producers involved in BQA programs assure their management, husbandry, and animal health practices meet regulatory and industry standards for these practices. 

To become BQA certified producers must first attend a producer training and certification session conducted by NDBQA personnel to participate in the North Dakota Beef Quality Assurance Program. After attending a training and certification session, each producer or operation will be assigned a NDBQA identification number. If calves are produced following NDBQA certification requirements (see Certification Requirements of the North Dakota Beef Quality Assurance Program), and with the appropriate records kept, they may then be marketed as "NDBQA Certified." For the year 2000 calf crop to be certified, producers MUST attend a training session before January 1, 2000. Producers will need to be re-certified every three years. 

Dickey and LaMoure Counties will be holding a training November 15th. One program offered twice in one day.  LaMoure County will be from 8:00 am-12:00pm at Centerfield Bar & Grill, LaMoure and Dickey County will be from 1:00-4:00 pm at Fireside Family Restaurant, Ellendale.  Topics we will discuss are vaccination handling, stop the truck, selecting cattle, and update on the beef audit. Fee for the BQA certification is $15 per operation and covers that operation for 3 years. Limited space available, registration required. Please call the office at (701)349-3249 ext. 2.


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