The Beef Quality Assurance Program grew out
of a movement in the mid 80s to produce healthier cattle.
We started seeing a lot of antibiotic residues in cattle, realized that wasn’t good, and
we needed to do something about it. From that original concern, the educational
program has expanded to cover nearly all aspects of the cow-calf industry. All with the goal
of keeping costs down and marketability high. We can spend a dollar at the producer level
to fix a problem. But if we don’t fix it there and it goes on to the next level, which
would be the packer, it’s going to cost us $10 to fix that problem. And if we don’t
catch it there and it makes it all the way to the consumer, it’s going to cost us $100
or more to fix that same problem that we could have fixed for $1 at the producer level.
Producers can implement things that can reduce the negative impacts and all of those things
have a direct or indirect influence on the price of the cattle or animal performance,
health. They all go hand in hand with quality and wholesomeness.
These are things that most of our producers in the state are going to do anyhow or try
to be part of. Why not get certified? Good point. You know, most producers are doing
many of the beef quality assurance practices, those things that reduce the negative impact
on health. The other thing they get out of it is the record keeping is required as part
of or recommended as part of the Beef Quality Assurance Program and good record keeping
is power. You know, you have access to let’s say, for example, treatment records. And how
many times have we all gone out into the cow herd and see a cow with foot rot and wonder
if she has ever been treated before. It could be that the hired man or hired person treated
that animal two weeks ago, but without a record, you wouldn’t know. If you pull an animal up
and say, well, it’s time to market that animal, they may have not gone beyond withdrawal time
of that drug early this treated with so to take them to market that day, if you don’t
have a record of that, you are risking the possibility of a volitive drug residue. So,
those records are one thing are one of many that producers can get out of a program like
this. Producers looking to be BQA certified, or
even to simply brush up on the program, will have several opportunities from late August
through mid September. OSU Extension, the Oklahoma Beef Council and the Noble Foundation
will be teaming up to host BQA field days in the four regions of the state.
The traditional meetings we’d sit down and go through a powerpoint presentation of about
two and a half hours. This will be a little bit different since we’ll be doing it as
a field day. It will all be a little more hands on type of approach. We’ll be out
in the field looking at some cattle talking about different things.
They may just come to the meeting and say, “hey, i’m doing 95% of this. All I have
to if I add this and that, I can document that I’m doing my share. Because Beef Quality
Assurance is everyone’s business, and I’m doing my part.”
The field days are scheduled for the tulsa fairgrounds on August 24th; the Caddo county
fairgrounds on September 8th; Woodward county fairgrounds on September 13th, and the Pittsburg
county expo center on September 15th. Registration each day begins at 8:30 with the event wrapping
up mid afternoon. Now if you can’t make the daytime events, a tradition class will
be offered at night on the same dates. If you’d like more information, visit our website,
SUNUP.okstate.edu and click on show links.