BQA Transportation Certification by 2020
Pressure from consumers and customers that want to know more about the beef they buy and be confident that producers do what’s right for the beef cattle they raise has driven major packers to require BQA (Beef Quality Assurance) Transportation Certification of all cattle transporters and suppliers by 2020.
So what does that mean for Florida beef cattle producers? Probably not much…..yet. But cow-calf producers are not immune to the demands of the consumer. This is just a trickle down the beef industry food chain. In 2020, the major packers require BQA Transportation Certification of their haulers. In 20?? feeders require BQA Transportation Certification of their haulers and down the line the requirement will move, possibly.
The good news? These companies are turning to an industry-accepted certification program created by cattlemen for cattlemen. The BQA Program provides education to beef producers and consumers of how common sense husbandry techniques can be coupled with accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under optimum management and environmental conditions. In addition to helping beef producers capture more value from their cattle, BQA reflects a positive public image and instills consumer confidence in the beef industry.
The BQA Program has five certifications; Cow-Calf, Stocker, Feedyard, Dairy and Transportation. The certification in question, transportation, is just one of these five. Hopefully most, if not all, Florida cow-calf operators are already BQA Cow-Calf Certified. Those that transport cattle may consider adding the Transportation Certification, not because it is required, but it is a good management practice.
How does one become certified? There are two ways to get certified. Online certification at www.BQA.org is free. After registering, participants will complete a training module that can be done online. Participants can start and stop training at their leisure without losing progress.
Producers can also attend in-person BQA trainings through UF/IFAS Extension. Look for trainings near you or contact your local County Extension Agent to learn more about upcoming programs.