In this file:


·         Beef Quality Assurance: Do you need to get certified?

·         Beef Quality the Key to Holding Line on Profits

·         National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Announces 2019 Beef Quality Assurance Award Winners



Beef Quality Assurance: Do you need to get certified?


By Tammy Vaassen, The Country Today (WI)

Leader Telegram - Feb 4, 2019


Vaassen is executive director of the Wisconsin Beef Council


New requirements for certification in the Beef Quality Assurance program are now in place for beef farmers who sell fed cattle across the U.S. to certain processors. Announcements were made in 2018 by Tyson, National Beef, U.S. Premium Beef and Cargill, which has led to an increase in BQA certifications in Wisconsin and nationwide.


Throughout the country, hundreds of thousands have now become BQA-certified through in-person and online training, with an estimated 80 percent of the U.S. fed beef supply now touched by BQA-certified operations. In Wisconsin, nearly 3,400 cattlemen and women have completed either online or in-person certification. The packer requirements represent their policy, not that of BQA or the Beef Checkoff program.


There are still a number of questions being asked across the state of Wisconsin about who needs certification. The requirements primarily impact those selling finished beef breeds of cattle. If you market fed cattle through a Wisconsin sale barn and there is a Tyson cattle buyer present to bid, the auction market will need to verify the cattle seller’s BQA (or equivalent) certification, according to Tyson Foods.


Programs that are considered to be equivalent to BQA certification include FARM Program — dairies that have completed a FARM Animal Care Version 3.0 (or newer) evaluation — and Youth for the Quality Care of Animals — youth cattle producers (ages 8-21) who complete the Youth for the Quality Care of Animals program are considered to have achieved BQA certification equivalency.


Even if the current requirement doesn’t impact you — perhaps you are a cow-calf producer or a dairy farmer selling finished Holstein steers — there is value in your voluntary completion of BQA. In a 2017 consumer image index survey completed by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, 64 percent of consumers mention a concern about beef production — including treatment of cattle, product safety and hormone or antibiotic use — they express uncertainty about what is being done on farms to ensure the quality and wholesomeness of the beef they are serving to their families.


The beef checkoff-funded BQA program was developed to...


more, including links



Outlook Positive

Beef Quality the Key to Holding Line on Profits


DTN/The Progressive Farmer



Things could be a lot worse. Beef cow numbers are up to 31.9 million head. Beef production is projected at 27.4 billion pounds, up 1.6% over 2018. Pork and poultry production is growing too--pork up 3% for 2019, poultry up 1.2%. Fed slaughter numbers for beef continue to climb, the pipeline is full and packing plants are at capacity. So where's the upside for beef prices?


The upside is there's minimal to no downside. In fact, profitability is in the cards for most of the industry through 2019. It's all thanks to improved quality, which has reached some amazing benchmarks as more and more of the industry emphasizes marbling. Widespread adoption of Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) principles for handling have also played a key role in producing a better quality product.


"Consumers have rewarded us for higher quality," Randy Blach told a packed auditorium at this year's annual meeting of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA). Blach is CEO of CattleFax.


Mark McCully, vice president of Certified Angus Beef, provided some eye-opening facts that underscored the shift the industry has seen in quality. In a presentation at Cattlemen's College the day prior, he reported that since 2010 there's been a 158% increase in average weekly production of beef graded Prime, an 87% increase in Premium Choice, and a 19% increase in All Choice.


Blach stressed, however, that this transformation has to continue if the industry is going to maintain its advantages.


"Today we have more new consumers and preferences coming," he said. "Are we willing to make the next changes?" He mentioned source verification and traceability as opportunities for producers to continue to respond to market shifting demands.




As the industry moves into 2019, some specific projections by Kevin Good, CattleFax analyst, looked at demand and prices. He expected to see profitability in the packer, stocker and cow-calf sectors through this year. However, looking at a few specifics, he noted there will be resistance in the market. This will be especially true moving into the second half, when supplies may pull down prices.


For 2019, Good projected a range of $130/cwt to $160/cwt for 750-pound feeder steers; $140/cwt to $185/cwt on 550-pound feeder steers; $42/cwt to $62/cwt on cull cows; and between $1,200 to $1,800 for bred cows at auction. All of these marked downturns in price. Composite cutout, however, is projected up by $4, to around $216/cwt. The fed steer market, as a whole, is projected steady at around $117/cwt.


Demand, Good said, would continue to be well above average. Exports will be "very friendly" with some $360 of the value on each head supported by the export value.







National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Announces 2019 Beef Quality Assurance Award Winners



via KTIC (NE) - February 4, 2019


The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program, has announced the winners of its 2019 Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Awards at the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention in New Orleans, La.


The National BQA Award recognizes outstanding beef and dairy producers and marketers that demonstrate animal care and handling principles as part of their day-to-day operations. As good stewards of the cattle industry, a common trait among all contest entrants must be a strong desire to improve their operations through BQA, while encouraging others to implement the producer education program. Award categories include: Cow-Calf, Dairy, Feedyard, Marketer and Educator of the Year.


2019 BQA Cow-Calf Award ...  


2019 BQA – FARM Dairy Award ...  


2019 BQA Feedyard Award ...  


2019 Marketer BQA Award ...  


2019 BQA Educator Award ...  


more, including video report [2:21 min.]