A series of Beef Quality Assurance training sessions will take place throughout Indiana to help producers earn a certification, good for three years, that is increasingly becoming a requirement among major industry buyers.
The two-hour training and certification sessions are free. Only one person from each operation is required to be certified to ensure the entire operation follows BQA standards. However, everyone who handles and manages fed cattle is encouraged to become BQA certified.
Preregistration for the sessions is encouraged and can be completed by going online to www.INBQA.com. Purdue University Extension sponsors the trainings in cooperation with the Indiana State Board of Animal Health, Indiana Beef Council, Indiana Beef Cattle Association and beef cattle auction markets across the state. Those unable to attend a session can also earn the certification online at www.BQA.org.
"In response to consumers, major beef processors like Tyson and National Beef Packing Co. will require its suppliers to have the BQA certification by Jan. 1, and it's likely other processors and auction markets will follow suit," said Ron Lemenager, Purdue professor of animal sciences and Extension beef nutrition management specialist. "This program will include cow-calf, stocker and feedlot elements to ensure that producers will have the required credentials to market their animals now and into the future."
Producers need to attend one meeting to become certified. Dates, local times, locations and contacts for the upcoming training and certification sessions are as follows:
* Oct. 4 (6:30-8:30 p.m.) and Oct. 18 (6:30-8:30 p.m.). Parke County Fairgrounds, 1472 N. U.S. Highway 41, Rockville. Bill Eberle (Indianapolis Stockyards, 765-569-0611) and Jim Luzar (Purdue Extension, 812-236-6039).
* Oct. 8 (6:30-8:30 p.m.) and Nov. 1 (6:30-8:30 p.m.). Southern Hills Church, 1645 Highway 135, Salem. Ryan Batt (United Producers Inc., 812-752-4222), Danielle Walker (Purdue Extension, 812-620-4726) and Ophelia Davis (Purdue Extension, 812-275-4623).
* Oct. 9 (6:30-8:30 p.m.) and Oct. 25 (6:30-8:30 p.m.). Southern Indiana-Purdue Agricultural Center, Conference Room, 11371 E. Purdue Farm Road, Dubois. Dan Ashley (United Producers Inc., 812-890-2616), Nick Minton (Purdue Extension, 812-797-7944), Sadie Davis (Purdue Extension, 812-381-2271) and Jason Tower (SIPAC, 812-678-4427).
* Oct. 11 (6:30-8:30 p.m.) and Oct. 20 (9-11 a.m.). Shipshewana Auction Inc., Antique/Misc. Auction Building, 345 S. Van Buren St., Shipshewana. Keith Lambright (Shipshewana Livestock Auction, 260-336-6008) and Steve Engleking (Purdue Extension, 260-499-6334).
* Oct. 13 (9-11 a.m.) and Oct. 30 (6:30-8:30 p.m.). Purdue University Creighton Hall of Animal Sciences, Room 1042, 270 S. Russell St., West Lafayette. Ron Lemenager (Purdue Extension, 765-494-4817) and Phil Reid (Purdue Extension, 765-496-7370).
* Oct. 16 (6:30-9 p.m.; RSVP required) and Nov. 1 (6:30-9 p.m.; RSVP required). Fulton County Extension Office, 1009 W. Third St., Rochester. Vince Hoffman (Rochester Sale Barn, 574-223-2615) and Mark Kepler (Purdue Extension, 574-223-3397).
* Oct. 23 (6:30-8:30 p.m.) and Oct. 27 (9-11 a.m.). Stewart Seeds, 2230 E. County Road 300 North, Greensburg. Andrew Stewart (Stewart Select Angus, 812-614-4867) and Mary Rodenhuis (Purdue Extension, 317-412-4131).
* Jan. 26 (8:45-10:45 a.m.). Indiana Beef Cattle Association Convention, Sheraton North, 8787 Keystone Crossing, Indianapolis. Joe Moore (IBCA executive vice president), Ron Lemenager (Purdue Extension, 765-427-5972) and Sadie Davis (Purdue Extension, 812-381-2271).
BQA is a nationally coordinated, state-implemented program that provides information to beef producers and consumers on how common-sense husbandry techniques can be paired with scientific knowledge to raise cattle. Its programs include best practices around ensuring end-product safety and wholesomeness, protecting herd health and animal well-being, and good recordkeeping.