Heidi Carroll

Heidi Carroll of SDSU Extension demonstrates proper cattle handling at a workshop this past winter. Carroll said reducing stress at weaning time starts with how producers handle their cattle.

To help beef producers meet Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification expectations, South Dakota State University Extension will host an in-person BQA certification course on Thursday, Nov. 21, from 2-4 p.m. in the Technology Center Amphitheater at Mitchell Technical Institute in Mitchell.

SDSU Extension has collaborated with the school’s animal science program to offer BQA certification to their students, also offered to the public this year.

Beef processors require producers to be BQA certified before they purchase cattle. This expectation has been in place for major beef packers since Jan. 1.

Auction barns may ask sellers to provide their BQA certification with cattle so that buyers are aware of it during a sale, as many buyers may not bid on cattle that do not come from BQA-certified producers.

“Providing BQA certification to the students is important,” said Dr. Lori Repenning, Mitchell Tech professor and veterinarian. “Students need to learn how to manage the beef industry’s expectations to stay successful and competitive cattlemen. The BQA program helps them to be ready.”

The class is also important to consumers, said Heidi Caroll, who coordinates BQA classes in South Dakota while serving as livestock stewardship specialist with SDSU Extension.

“Consumers care about how their food is raised and this impacts their purchasing decisions,” she said. “Because of this, restaurants and food retailers desire to show their commitment to sourcing the highest quality beef from humanely raised animals. The BQA program meets these expectations, provides confidence to consumers, and gives producers the tools to fine tune their management practices.”

Producers can register to attend the course at a cost of $25 at https://extension.sdstate.edu/events or complete the BQA certification curriculum free online at www.bqa.org.

For more information, contact Heidi Carroll at 605-688-6623 or Heidi.Carroll@sdstate.edu.

The address for this event is 1800 E, Spruce St. in Mitchell. From Interstate 90, take exit 332 and turn left (south). Go under the 1-90 overpass to the second set of stoplights. Turn left (east) on Spruce Street. Go over a set of railroad tracks.

The Technology Center will be the first driveway on your left (north) after the tracks.

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