The checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program has launched a new training and certification program for cattle transportation. The program, known as Beef Quality Assurance Transportation (BQAT), provides cattle producers and haulers with comprehensive training based on their roles in the cattle industry.
Online training will be made available beginning immediately, and in-person training opportunities will begin soon.
“The BQA Transportation training and certification program has been a long time coming,” said Chase DeCoite, director of BQA for the National Cattlemen's Beef Assn., a contractor to the beef checkoff. “By educating cattle haulers and producers on the best practices in cattle transportation, BQA is helping make improvements in cattle care and beef quality. Participating in BQA Transportation will be an indicator that the beef and dairy industries are committed to responsible animal care during transportation and makes both the BQA and Dairy FARM animal care programs more complete.”
The BQA program was first funded by the beef checkoff in the early 1990s and developed its first guidance on transportation in 2006. Today, the program offers training and certification programs for all sectors of the industry: cow/calf, stocker and feedyard. This is the first time a nationally recognized certification has been offered for the transportation segment of the industry.
Online training for BQAT will be offered in two different modules: Farmer/Rancher and Professional. The Farmer/Rancher modules will focus on the use of stock trailers and smaller loads of cattle that beef and dairy cattle producers might typically haul themselves. The Professional modules will focus on the use of tractor-trailers and larger loads that are typically hauled greater distances.
“Today, the BQA program is taking another step in being the leader when it comes to educating producers and the cattle industry on the right things to do,” said Dan Kniffen, chair of the BQA Advisory Board, assistant professor of animal science at Pennsylvania State University and a cow/calf producer. “We have known for a long time that transportation plays a critical role in our industry. Now, we are fully able to train and show our commitment to beef quality and cattle care from pasture to plate.”