AMES - Quality beef begins with quality care. The Iowa Beef Industry Council wants to recognize beef producers and marketers who diligently care for and properly handle cattle in order to provide consumers with safe and wholesome beef. Applications for Iowa's 2013 Iowa Beef Quality Assurance Awards are now being accepted.
BQA is a national program for beef cattle production that assures the highest standards of animal care and treatment. It was developed with guidance from leading animal health and well-being experts and outlines essential elements for cattle care. More than 90 percent of all U.S. beef is raised under the BQA program.
The Iowa BQA program recognizes an outstanding beef producer, dairy producer and/or beef marketer who best demonstrate BQA practices, including sound animal husbandry practices. Nominees should be BQA-certified and work to continually improve BQA on their operations while operating sustainable cattle businesses.
The desire to encourage fellow producers to implement BQA and communicate what the industry is doing to ensure quality cattle care is a plus. The award is open to all segments of the industry - commercial cow-calf, seedstock, backgrounders, feedyards, dairy operations, auction markets operators and veterinarians.
"The BQA program's mission is to maximize consumer confidence in beef while exceeding their eating expectations," said Doug Bear, director of industry relations for the Iowa Beef Industry Council. "The BQA Award is a way to recognize the outstanding men and women who put great tasting beef on our consumer's plate every day."
Completed entries are due by Nov. 1. The Iowa BQA Award winners will be selected by a committee of fellow cattle producers, veterinarians, pharmaceutical representatives and others who have a "steak" in the future of the beef industry.
Nominations can be submitted by any organization, group or individual on behalf of an Iowa beef producer or marketer. Individuals and families may not nominate themselves; however, the nominees are expected to be involved in the preparation of the application. For further information on these awards or to download the application, please visit www.iabeef.org/beefqualityassurance.aspx.