BROOKINGS, S.D. - Online Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification modules are available to cattle producers now through April 15 at no cost.
"BQA is a valuable program that teaches best management practices for raising cattle that help ensure safe, wholesome beef products for consumers," said Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Associate.
She explained that becoming BQA certified demonstrates to consumers that as a cattle producer you provide a quality product. Through a partnership of the national checkoff-funded BQA program, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., and the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University, certification using the online training modules is free until April 15.
Typically these online training modules cost $25 to $50.
The BQA online programs are customized for cow/calf, stocker, feedlot, and dairy operations and are great tools for training employees. Visit the Boehringer Ingelheim webpage or the Beef Quality Assurance page for details and to get started. After choosing a training module, follow the directions for registration and then use the specified access code when asked for payment to obtain free access to the BQA certification modules.
In South Dakota, the BQA program has two levels. These online BQA training modules, which are developed and managed by the independent Beef Cattle Institute, will complete BQA Level 1 certification.
Upon completion of Level 1, South Dakota cattle producers will need to complete a site plan with their practicing veterinarian to submit to the South Dakota Beef Quality Assurance Program. Cattlemen will be BQA Level 2 certified upon approval of their site plan.
After completing both BQA levels, cattlemen will receive a certificate with their BQA certification number. Face-to-face BQA trainings are also available upon request and can be coordinated with Tracey Walsh of the South Dakota Beef Industry Council by phone (605) 224-4722.