Contact: Kylie Peterson, Director of Marketing & Communications, Iowa Beef Industry Council, 515-296-2305
Thanks to efforts by beef farmers and ranchers in Iowa, and across the United States, consumers have access to more high-quality beef than ever before. One reason for this increase is the Beef Checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program, which is being introduced to consumers for the first time by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff via a new consumer marketing campaign. BQA, which has been around for more than 30 years, directs farmers and ranchers on cattle management techniques to ensure animals and the environment are cared for through a standard set of guidelines across the beef industry. More than 85 percent of beef produced in the United States today comes from a farmer or rancher who is BQA certified.
“More and more, consumers want to know that their food is raised in a responsible manner,” says David Bruene, a beef producer from Kelley, Iowa. “In Iowa consumers can feel good knowing there’s a national program in place that sets consistent animal welfare and care standards across the beef industry and that the majority of the beef they purchase and consume comes from a BQA certified farmer or rancher.”
The integrated marketing and communications campaign will include a new video from Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner., available on www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com, highlighting the BQA program. Additionally, through Instagram stories that address common questions about how cattle are raised, consumers will learn more about the standards and guidelines at the foundation of BQA. Combined, the video, website and social efforts will provide an overview of the BQA program and ongoing commitment of cattle farmers and ranchers to care for their animals and provide consumers the safest and highest quality beef possible.
Iowa Beef Industry Council (IBIC) staff will work hand in hand with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, to disperse additional consumer messaging across multiple communication platforms. Producers can access the Iowa Beef Checkoff Facebook page for updates on the how consumer messaging is being dispersed.
Nearly 11,000 Iowa beef producers have been certified through the Beef Quality Assurance programming facilitated by IBIC. Iowa producers have shown a strong commitment to the BQA program and exhibited how common-sense husbandry techniques can be coupled with accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under optimum management and environmental conditions.
"BQA is based on science, and its educational resources are both developed and reviewed by experts, like veterinarians and animal scientists, who have state-of-the-art knowledge of animal care and welfare,” says Casey Allison, Director of Industry Relations at the IBIC. Voluntary participation in the BQA program in Iowa is an example of how the Iowa beef community is committed to raising cattle safely, humanely and sustainably."
Iowa cattle farmers and ranchers can become BQA certified by either attending a classroom course taught by Iowa BQA coordinators or by completing a series of robust online courses. Certification is good for three years, after which farmers and ranchers must become re-certified to ensure they have the most up-to-date information and are trained on the latest BQA guidelines.
For more information about the BQA program and the high-quality beef produced today by cattle farmers and ranchers in Iowa and across the United States, visit www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com
About the Beef Checkoff: The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.
About the Iowa Beef Industry Council: The Iowa Beef Industry Council is funded by the $1-per-head National beef Checkoff Program and the $0.50-per-head Iowa State Beef Checkoff. Checkoff dollars are invested in beef promotion, consumer information, research, industry information, and foreign market development, all with the purpose of strengthening beef demand. For more information, visit iabeef.org.