Bill Pelton, Pelton Livestock marketing and consulting, will present the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program to ranchers at the GATE show
“If they come to the seminar, they will become BQA certified right there at the GATE show,” Pelton said.
BQA is a nationally coordinated program that provides information to U.S. beef producers and beef consumers of how common sense husbandry techniques can be coupled with accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under optimum management and environmental conditions.
“BQA is about low-stress cattle handling. There will be new protocols, new rules coming in the new year, such as with administering vaccines and producers need to be aware,” he said.
BQA certification is voluntary and includes understanding about the proper handling and transport of cattle to reduce sickness, stockmanship and stewardship.
Many companies, like Tyson, will not be accepting cattle from livestock producers unless they have their BQA certification in place.
“Cattle buyers, even with no requirements in place, will be more interested in looking at your product if you are BQA certified,” Pelton said. “BQA is just good business.”
At the GATE, Pelton will go over what the program means, and go over the cattle handling, and each producer will have his name entered in the computer, so they will be able to have a certificate to take home.
While producers have traditionally participated in BQA because it’s the right thing to do, there is sound research that indicates BQA certified producers can benefit financially as well.
The program to train and certify BQA was established in 1987 by The Beef Checkoff to provide cattle producers with the tools and training necessary to assure animal health and well-being.
A recent study conducted at Colorado State University (CSU), showed a premium for calves and feeder cattle sold through video auction markets.
The study was conducted to determine if the sale price of beef calves and feeder cattle marketed through video auction companies was influenced by the mention of BQA in the lot description. CSU reviewed data from nearly 9,000 video lot records of steers and heifers sold in nine western states from 2010 – 2017.
The result was a premium of $16.80/head for cattle that had BQA listed in the lot description.
“This study was a first of its kind opportunity to utilize advanced data analysis methods to discover if there was a true monetary value to participate in BQA,” said Chase DeCoite, director of Beef Quality Assurance.
Pelton said he does believe the cattle markets may improve in 2020, but it is one thing to just hear about countries that may be accepting U.S. beef in the future.
“When the actual paperwork gets to us could be awhile, and until then, cattle markets are what they are. But I do think markets will get better,” he added.