NEW Beef Quality Assurance Certification Requirement & Training Locations
Some large packers and processors have announced that effective January 1, 2019, they will only purchase from farms that are BQA or FARM Certified. Most dairy farms are FARM certified through their milk processor. Ask your dairy plant representative for help to get a copy of your completed FARM evaluation, or a letter from them indicating your farm’s completion of FARM 3.0 or beyond.
The January 1, 2019 BQA Requirement impacts those selling finished beef breeds of cattle and will be in effect for all markets and all private treaty transactions. Farmers need to work with their marketing partners, or buyers if selling direct, to ensure correct documentation of BQA or FARM certification. At this time, it is believed that beginning in January 2020, additional processors will begin to require BQA or FARM Certification from their suppliers. Beef producers created the voluntary Beef Quality Assurance Program in 1987 to assist each other in raising, feeding and harvesting high quality beef. By participating in BQA and adopting BQA production practices, you are helping to answer the call from the packers’ consumers, for safe beef raised in a humane manner.
Obtain free, online BQA certification at BQA.org, http://www.bqa.org. Here you will create an account (based upon your email address) and select the course that best fits your particular operation. Each interactive course takes about 2 hours to complete, and requires an 80% score to pass the final test. You will receive your BQA certification via email, which you will provide at the point of sale.
UW-Extension is hosting in-person BQA certification trainings throughout the state. Visit the WI Beef Information Center online calendar at https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/wbic/ for enrollment information of upcoming trainings.
La Crosse County UW-Extension will offer an in-person training on Tuesday evening, December 18th, 2018 from 6-8:30 pm in the auditorium at the Administrative Center, 212 6th Street N, in La Crosse. This certification is provided in cooperation with UW-Extension and the WI Beef Council, and costs $15 per farm. The fee will be collected at the door; please make checks payable to WI BQA Program. So we may plan for materials, please RSVP by December 14th, with the number attending from your farm. Call 608-785-9593 to register. The WI BQA Program will verify your certification with BQA.org and return your certification number back to the farm by either email or regular mail.