SDSU Extension is offering two Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification trainings on Dec. 28 from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. CST at the SDSU Extension Watertown Regional Center located at 1910 West Kemp Ave. in Watertown, South Dakota.
The BQA certification is a three-year certification and producers must re-certify every three years to remain current.
The BQA certification is a requirement to sell cattle to any major beef packer in South Dakota and producers are encouraged to ensure their BQA certification is up to date prior to marketing their cattle.
"BQA focuses on food safety, animal well-being, employee safety and being good stewards of our natural resources while raising beef," said Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Field Specialist and Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator.
“BQA does more than just help beef producers capture more value from their market cattle,” said Carroll. “BQA also reflects a positive public image and instills consumer confidence in the beef industry. When producers implement the best management practices of a BQA program, they assure their market steers, heifers, cows and bulls are the best they can be.”
In-person BQA certification courses are limited in South Dakota and more dates will continue to be advertised as they are scheduled. South Dakota producers residing near surrounding state borders may attend a BQA certification offered in any state.
Likewise, producers from other states may attend a South Dakota BQA certification training to receive their BQA certification.
An online training course is also available for cattle producers needing to certify or renew their BQA certification. Producers can complete the online BQA certification course at www.bqa.org.
The South Dakota BQA program is coordinated by SDSU Extension and is funded in part by the South Dakota Beef Industry Council and the Beef Checkoff.
If you do not remember your BQA account credentials, please contact a state BQA coordinator, or the National BQA Team, at (303) 850-3473.
For questions and more information, contact Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Field Specialist and Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator.