My Beef Checkoff: February beef edition

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Have You Herd ...

... “Like” MyBeefCheckoff on Facebook for the latest news and updates.

... New beef research publications are available.

... Kim Brackett was named 2014 Cattlemen’s Beef Board chair.

Did you know ...

... that providing 30-minute nutritious meal solutions  is just one of the things that your checkoff is doing to show millennials how beef can fit into their lifestyle? The checkoff also motivates foodservice chefs and other professionals to sell more beef by providing them with a steady flow of knowledge, fact-based information and inspiration to keep their menus alive and active with beef. This includes new opportunities for preparing beef, through preparation methods, new flavor combinations and profiles, and new equipment and appliances.

... that your checkoff’s “Easy Fresh Cooking” labels provide recipe, cookery and safe-handling information in one convenient on-pack sticker on fresh beef products? The labels are proven to build consumer confidence in purchasing a wider variety of beef cuts:  72 percent of shoppers say they have bought a product because of the on-pack marketing, and 46 percent say they are more likely to purchase new or different cuts as a result. Easy Fresh Cooking takes the guess work out of the meat case, making beef easier to shop for and easier to stock. More than 10,000 stores nationwide use the checkoff program or a similar customized offshoot of it.

Learn more about product benefits here.

Did you know ...

'> ... you can become BQA certified for FREE? For a second year, 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. (BIVI) and the Beef Cattle Institute (BCI) housed at Kansas State University. The cost of BQA certification is normally $25 to $50; however, from Feb. 3, through April 15, 2014, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI) will defray the cost of the certification or recertification, making it free. Visit www.bqa.org/team or www.BIVI-BQA.com to get started.

Mike & Anne Wirtz Named National BQA Award Winners

This week, beef producers were honored with the checkoff’s annual national Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) 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.

TZ Cattle Company, owned by Mike and Anne Wirtz, is an integrated cow-calf operation. The base herd is purebred Santa Gertrudis. The commercial herd is Santa Gertrudis x Hereford and Santa Gertrudis x Angus. Calves are pre-conditioned using a modified Vac-45 program, raised on grass to 800 pounds, then sent to the feedlot. Calves are sold on the grid or contracted on a natural program. All are age, process, and source verified. Some have gone to Japan or South Korea. Sometimes, weather forces us to sell early in pre-conditioned stocker sales.

High-quality beef begins with breeding and genetics. Angus and Hereford are utilized in a terminal cross to produce high quality carcasses. Santa Gertrudis is necessary in our climate and its hybrid vigor adds to growth and carcass value. The BOA program, when done properly, enhances the carcass value due to low sickness and no blemishes in the beef itself. Safe handling techniques reduce stress, help gain, and reduce bruising. This helps to produce a quality product to ensure consumer demand due to an excellent dining experience.

“The National Beef Quality Assurance program began in 1986 to counter drug residue and carcass blemishes. As a practicing large animal veterinarian and producer, I felt we must be at the forefront. Since we did a lot of herd work for our clients, we had the opportunity to teach our veterinary associates (4), lay staff (12), and our clients about BOA and why they should use BOA recommended practices,” Mike says. “We started by training staff on our own animals about handling, vaccinations, product labels, and vaccine handling. At the clinic and the ranch, we have good facilities. We follow label directions on medications and protect vaccines from the elements. Any transportation is in clean, uncrowded trailers. All hot-shots have been retired. What is unique? Through my practice, I have trained, or at least exposed, many veterinarians, clients, and fellow ranchers to the benefits of BOA.”

Learn more about all of the BQA award winners, including Mike and Anne Wirtz, here.


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