UW-Extension to offer training sessions for Beef Quality Assurance certification

OCONTO, Wis. — Beef Quality Assurance is a national program that raises consumer confidence by offering training in proper management techniques with a producer commitment to quality within every segment of the beef industry.

Effective Jan. 1, several large packers and processors will only purchase from Beef Quality Assurance or National Farmers Assuring Responsible Management certified farms. Buyers and stockyards will be confirming compliance at the point of sale.

Most dairy farms already are BQA certified through completion of the National FARM program with their dairy processor. BQA equivalency documents for dairy farms include: completed FARM Animal Care Version 3.0 or newer; FARM program-supplied letter from cooperative or processor indicating completion of Version 3.0 or newer; and a signed Livestock Marketing Association affidavit.

Those dairy and beef farmers who sell cattle and are not yet certified will need to complete training either in BQA or FARM, and submit paperwork declaring date of certification and certification number or equivalency documents.

University of Wisconsin-Extension Agriculture Agent Sarah Mills-Lloyd will offer several BQA training sessions in the region. They include:

— Jan. 29: Registration 12:30 p.m., training 1 p.m., Shawano Library, Shawano, Wis.

— Jan. 30: Registration 12:30 p.m., training 1 p.m., Birnamwood Matsche Center, Birnamwood, Wis. 

— Feb. 13: Registration 10 a.m., training 10:30 a.m., Florence Natural Resource Center, Florence, Wis.

— Feb. 16: Registration 12:30 p.m., training 1 p.m., Gillett Community Center, former BMO Harris Bank building immediately east of Gillett Library, Gillett, Wis.

Cost for the program is $15 per farm, payable at the door. Pre-registration for each session a week in advance is preferred but not mandatory. To register or for more information, call the UW-Extension Oconto County office at 920-834-6845.

Those unable to attend in-person trainings can find BQA Certification online at bqa.org.