Beef Quality Assurance Certification 

white beef cow face

The national BQA Program was initiated in 1987 to provide cattle farmers and ranchers with science based management practices that enhance carcass quality and beef safety and improve animal care. BQA works to protect consumer confidence in our beef supply and to return more profits to producers. Participation in the program is voluntary. BQA principles influence the management practices of more than 85 percent of cattle. 

WHy BQA is important 

BQA does more than just help beef producers capture more value from their market cattle: BQA also reflects a positive public image and instills consumer confidence in the beef industry. When producers implement the best management practices of a BQA program, they assure their market steers, heifers, cows, and bulls are the best they can be. Today, the stakes are even higher because of increased public attention on animal welfare. BQA is valuable to all beef and dairy producers because it:

  • Demonstrates commitment to food safety and quality.
  • Safeguards the public image of the dairy industry.
  • Upholds consumer confidence in valuable beef products.
  • Protects the beef industry from additional and burdensome government regulation.
  • Improves sale value of marketed beef cattle.
  • Enhances herd profitability through better management.

Who should become certified? 

All individuals who have the opportunity to influence the quality and handling of cattle, including owners, farm workers, junior producers (14 and older), animal science students and allied industry partners. 

How it works

The Beef Quality Assurance program in New York State has grown into a robust educational opportunity for beef and dairy farmers throughout the state and works to improve the quality of beef produced by connecting producers with the newest research and animal care techniques. The BQA Program currently has over 1000 active beef producers, employees, and students. The program has two levels of certification.

Level I Requirements:

Attend a classroom training or complete the national BQA online modules.

BQA Training

This training is designed for cattle transporters and farmers. The training reviews proper handling and transport of cattle which can reduce sickness in calves, prevent bruises, and improve the quality of the meat from those animals.

 Attend a classroom Training 

 Complete online Module

Level II Requirements:

  • Complete Level I requirements
  • Attend a chute-side training
  • Establish a Veterinary/Client/Patient Relationship (VCPR)

VCPR Form can be downloaded here. If your veterinarian office has their own form they would prefer to use that will also be accepted.

BQA Transportation Training

This training is designed for cattle transporters and farmers. The training reviews proper handling and transport of cattle which can reduce sickness in calves, prevent bruises, and improve the quality of the meat from those animals.

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BQA ReCertification

BQA Re-Certification is required every three years. Documented Continued Education must be submitted to the NYBC office. Learn more about the different continued education options available and download the required paperwork. VCPR forms for NYS Level II also available.

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vet and farmer

Establishing a Valid Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR)

If you have a good relationship with your veterinarian, he or she will be able to help, advise, and guide you to use appropriate medications for your animals.

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More Resources

Animal Treatment Record FOrms