By Patti Upmeyer, Benton County Extension

Beef producers in eastern Iowa are encouraged to become Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Certified in 2017. BQA is the foundation for the Tyson FarmCheck program which will be required for all who sell cattle to Tyson Foods.

A training session sponsored by the Benton County Extension and Benton County Cattlemen is scheduled for Tuesday, March 14, starting at 6:30 pm, at the Vinton-Shellsburg Ag Learning Center, 210 W 21st St, Vinton, IA 52349 (east side of High School). The Benton County Cattlemen will be provide a light meal for participants.

ISU Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Denise Schwab said the Beef Quality Assurance Certification meetings will focus on changes in packer requirements and the information that cattle feeders must provide to market cattle. Doug Bear, director of industry relations at the Iowa Beef Industry Council, said the certification assures consumers that the beef they eat is a safe, high quality product and is produced in a responsible manner considering animal welfare and the environment.

Iowa’s BQA certification program utilizes industry partnerships to extend its reach across Iowa, but is funded with beef checkoff dollars. The BQA program has helped to inform industry representatives and beef producers about the latest management practices such as proper injection site techniques, record keeping practices, new industry on-farm BQA Assessments, and make consumers more aware of the extra efforts taken by Iowa producers to deliver safe, wholesome beef. At the end of the meeting, all of the producers will have completed two of the required production protocols and attained their BQA certification.

There is no fee to attend, but preregistration is strongly encouraged to ensure adequate materials and food. To register contact the Benton County Extension Office at 319-472-4739 or email . For more information, contact Denise Schwab, Extension Beef Program Specialist at or 319-721-9624.