Have You Herd…

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FREE BQA Certification This Month!

Are you doing your part for the industry by getting BQA certified? Well, if you haven't, have we got a deal for you! Your checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program is giving you the chance to become certified for free thanks to a partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. and the Beef Cattle Institute (BCI) housed at Kansas State University. The cost of BQA certification is normally $25-$50; however, between Feb. 11, 2013 and March 15, 2013, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. will defray the cost of the certification, making it free for producers. Those interested in taking advantage of this BQA certification opportunity should start at www.BIVI-BQA.com.

New CBB Chairman: Commitment and Volunteerism

Cow/calf producer Weldon Wynn from Star City, Ark., was elected by fellow Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) members to serve as CBB chairman in 2013. The vote came during the 2013 Cattle Industry Annual Convention in Tampa, Fla.

Read the full release about all new officers and members elected to the CBB Executive Committee and Beef Promotion Operating Committee HERE, and a special feature about the new chairman HERE.

Producer Support for Beef Checkoff Remains High

Support for the beef checkoff remains high, according to a recent survey of beef and dairy producers nationwide. Support, at 76 percent, in unchanged since January 2012 and is at an historic high.

The nationwide survey of 1,200 beef and dairy producers conducted by the independent firm Aspen Media & Market Research in late December 2012 and early January 2013 found an overwhelming majority of beef and dairy producers continue to say their beef checkoff has value for them in many ways. A copy of the research report is available here.

Dairy Beef Quality Assurance Award Winner Announced

This week, two producers were honored with the checkoff’s annual national Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) award and Dairy Beef Quality Assurance (DBQA) award, created to recognize outstanding beef and dairy producers from across the country who incorporate BQA principles as part of the day-to-day activities on their operations. One individual was also recognized with the BQA Marketer Award, and one individual received the BQA Educator Award.

2013 winners were:  Billy and Reed Kempfer  of Kempfer Cattle Company of Saint Cloud, Fla. (beef); Louis “Woody” Larson, Family Tree Enterprises of Okeechobee, Fla. (dairy); Larry Schnell, Stockmen’s Livestock Exchange, Dickinson, N.D. (Marketer of the Year); and Dr. John Maas, UC Davis, California. (Educator of the Year).

Woody Larson, Family Tree Enterprises

Family Tree Enterprises LLLP consists of three dairies: Basinger Farm, Gracewood Farm and Lafayette Dairy, LLC and a commercial beef cow/calf operation, The Dixie Ranch, with 4,600 adult cows and 3,000 replacement females on 3,100 acres.

Family Tree Enterprises places emphasis on herd health and reducing cattle stress. Their herd health program takes a preventative approach emphasizing hygiene, vaccine and cow comfort over antibiotic use. The dairy also has written protocols for vaccinations and procedures.

Larson said in his application, “BQA has been important from the start. Our veterinarian and I have been the main educators as we continually train our people at the various farms. In addition, we have outside trainers come on-site and we encourage our herdsmen to attend specialized workshops, such the Florida Beef Council-sponsored Dairy BQA trainings for Spanish-speaking employees. Other innovations in our business include reworking our cattle handling facilities by installing some used rubber belting on the fences and chutes to help prevent bruising and injury.”

Watch videos of each producer BQA award winners on the BQA YouTube page.

**Check back in next month’s e-newsletter for information from Dr. Dave Rhoda’s presentation on a proactive approach to drug residue prevention.