Progress is slower than some would like, but the Beef Checkoff-funded Transport Beef Quality Assurance (TBQA) Program continues to move forward, with plans to place certified trainers in every state with Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) programs this year.

Ryan Ruppert, NCBA’s BQA coordinator, says getting trainers in place in key states will be position the program to begin certifying truckers on a large scale. Ruppert also says NCBA is engaged with the National Pork Board and representatives of the dairy industry to develop a standardized curriculum for certifying drivers who transport beef cattle, hogs or dairy cows or calves.  

The TBQA program began in 2006, when NCBA, Texas A&M University, Kansas State University and the Nebraska Cattlemen, working with funding through the Beef Checkoff, initiated the effort to extend the Beef Quality Assurance concept into the transport phase.

The program’s instructional materials, including a manual and 45 minutes of video, now are available through the TBQA Web site. You can either order the DVD and printed manual, or download the manual and video modules to your computer.

The Master Cattle Transporter Training Program focuses on professional truckers who haul semi loads of cattle, primarily to feedyards or packing plants. During a meeting of state BQA coordinators last year, University of Tennessee Extension Beef Specialist Clyde Lane, PhD. says, the group recognized an opportunity to bring smaller, stock-trailer loads of cattle under the BQA umbrella.

With funding from the Beef Checkoff, Lane, along with Jim Turner, PhD., an animal scientist at North CarolinaStateUniversity and that state’s BQA coordinator, took the lead in developing instructional materials for the program. Initial materials include a brochure titled “Stock Trailer Transportation of Cattle,” outlining basic principles of maintaining, loading, unloading and hauling trailers, along with reference information such as load densities, heat index and wind-chill index.

The team also developed what Lane describes as a “bumper sticker” for producers to place on their trailers. The sticker provides a quick and easy reference for load densities based on the size of the trailer and weight of the cattle. The materials are distributed through each state’s BQA coordinators.

For more on the Master Cattle Transporter Training Program, check the TBQA Web site.

A contact list of all the state BQA coordinators also is available on line.