After months of hard work, the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) team which is partially funded by the beef checkoff, has completed a 150-page “Train the Trainer” manual, a comprehensive compilation that gives a formal program definition of BQA and is meant to standardize BQA practices across the United States.
This project was led by BQA advisory board member Dr. Dee Griffin, DVM, University of Nebraska, who says, “Cattle producers do their part to ensure product safety each and every day, multiple times a day. That belief is followed throughout the production chain to the final product that our consumers can be confident in purchasing. And, when the integrity of our industry is attacked or questioned as it was a few months back, this manual enables us to have a collective response that shows our dedication to providing consumers with a safe, wholesome beef product.” The manual, which has been endorsed by the BQA committee and reviewed by outside experts and technical advisors, will be sent to the 100 BQA coordinators for all 50 states. These coordinators will use it to train their trainers, who will then be given a copy of the manual as to be prepared to answer questions in the field. “This collection of BQA best management practices combines the expertise of our state beef council staff, veterinarians, nutritionists, University extension specialists, feedlot owners and so many more throughout the industry,” says Griffin. “Checkoff dollars have allowed us to put the manual together for many different uses and it gives BQA coordinators one voice while out in the field with producers – something that’s now imperative to our industry.” The manual was produced to standardized BQA practices in an effort to raise consumer confidence through offering proper management techniques and a commitment to quality within every segment of the beef industry. Producers continue to embrace BQA because it is the right thing to do for the industry, concludes Griffin, but also because they gain through increased profitability. As an educational program, BQA strives to maximize consumer confidence in beef by focusing producer’s attention to management practices that affect the safety and quality of beef.