Beef Quality Assurance is a pre-harvest supply chain management concept that ensures domestic and international beef consumers enjoy ready access to a safe, wholesome and healthy beef supply.
Beef Quality Assurance programs provide systematic 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 guidelines are designed to make certain all beef consumers can take pride in what they purchase – and can trust and have confidence in the entire beef industry.
BQA program participants recognize that maintaining consumer confidence requires a commitment to quality beef production at every level - not just at the feedlot or packing plant, but within every segment of the cattle industry. Nearly every state in the U.S. has an active BQA program. Funding for these efforts ranges from state-derived Beef Checkoff money to national Beef Checkoff support through the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. State-based activities are often enhanced through locally derived private and public grants.
State BQA programs are voluntary, locally led and administered through organizations such as state beef councils, Land Grant Universities and state cattle associations. BQA is not a “government” program. BQA links all beef producers with livestock production specialists, veterinarians, nutritionists, marketers and food purveyors interested in maintaining and improving the quality of cattle and the beef they produce.
While state BQA programs chart their own direction, program assistance and national leadership is provided by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. NCBA’s producer education committee continually updates a set of recommended national BQA guidelines from which states can base their BQA programs. BQA principles are based on good management practices (GMP) that are standard operation procedures (SOP) designed to meet the United States food production system's needs. There are two levels of BQA programming: 1) education and training; 2) and verification and documentation of animal husbandry practices.
For information on the National BQA program, visit: www.bqa.org