Our family and many others in our county and surrounding counties have participated in the BQA program. We are always looking for a way to add value to our personal cattle and always want to sell a quality product to the next person in line. If the buyer has good luck feeding our calves, he’s more likely to come back and spend higher beef market prices because the way we cared for them increased his profit feeding them. The BQA course is very educational whether you have been around cattle all your life or are new to the industry. Our livestock auction highly recommends learning about the organization and taking a class.
What is BQA?
BQA is a nationally coordinated program implemented in each state in order to build trust and confidence in the beef industry. The goal of the Arkansas BQA Program is to encourage the consistent production of high-quality cattle in Arkansas.
How does BQA improve Arkansas beef?
Arkansas BQA programming focuses on educating and training beef producers and veterinarians on the issues in cattle food safety and quality. Instruction is based on information gained by the National Cattlemen’s Association and includes common management techniques along with accepted scientific knowledge on how to raise cattle under optimum herd health management and handling conditions. Once BQA certified, producers are equipped with knowledge that will help them obtain the goal of producing a safe and wholesome product.
How can Arkansas producers become certified?
Arkansas BQA offers two ways to participate.
- Online Certification: Producers register through the National BQA Online Classroom, complete the desired training modules and pass the test. The National BQA and training modules are available at no cost.
- In-person Certification: Producers attend a course provided by an official Arkansas BQA trainer. Arkansas currently has 25 Extension Agriculture Agents available as BQA trainers. Producer information will be entered into the National BQA database.
For both types of certification, a state and national BQA number will be issued for the producer. Producers must recertify every 3 years.
Is there anything beyond certification?
Arkansas BQA offers the farm assessment program.
- Farm assessment provides a step-by-step plan for producers to get their farm BQA compliant.
- An assessment consists of two farm visits by a BQA consultant to go through a comprehensive checklist.
- Assessment includes aerial drone mapping of working facilities.
- The evaluator will give a copy of the checklist with recommendations.
- After a mutually agreed upon period of time, the BQA consultant will visit the farm to go over improvements.
- After the second visit, the producer will receive a BQA Farm Assessment sign that can be posted on the farm.
Arkansas BQA offers the train-the-trainer program for educators who wish to be BQA trainers.
- Classes will be offered in each district to increase the number of qualified trainers.
- Applicants must have experience in adult education.
- Applicants must be approved by the state BQA Coordinator.
- Upon completion, new trainers will receive equipment and resources to help with future BQA classes.
For more information on BQA and its programs, click here.