Submitted by Melissa Heath, UW-Extension, St. Croix County Office

BALDWIN, WI – The Barron and St. Croix County UW-Extension offices will be offering two in-person BQA trainings in December.  

The first will be on Wednesday, December 12, at the Barron County Government Center, 335 E. Monroe Ave, Barron, WI.  The second will be on Tuesday, December 18, at the S. Croix County Ag Service & Education Center, 1960 8th Ave, Baldwin, WI.  Both trainings will start with 12:45 registration, and program at 1:00 PM and running to approximately 3:30 PM.  Pre-registration is requested.  For the Barron location, contact the Barron County UW-Extension office at 715-537-6250 or becky.schley@ces.uwex.edu.  For Baldwin, contact the St. Croix County UW-Extension office at 715-531-1930 or ryan.sterry@ces.uwex.edu

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 with the number attending from your farm and the location you plan to attend. 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.

You can also 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.

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.

Visit the WI Beef Information Center online calendar at fyi.uwex.edu/wbic for enrollment information for other upcoming trainings.