Note: For questions about the online certification process, including technical issues, please contact Kelly Oliver at Kansas State University.

The countdown has begun for beef and dairy producers to become Beef Quality Assurance (BQA)-certified for free online through Nov. 20. And, as an added bonus, anyone who becomes certified during this period is eligible to win a prize package, courtesy of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. and the BQA program, funded in part by the beef checkoff.

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. will pick up the $25-$50 online training fee for every person completing BQA training through Nov. 20. That includes anyone who works with cattle – whether it is beef or dairy. Visit www.bqa.org to take advantage of the open certification period.

The BQA program is important to the cattle industry because it is a producers’ consumer-friendly story to tell, helping them talk about using BQA Best Management Practices for producing a safe and high quality beef product. And for dairy producers, this offering also is beneficial as a tool to promote safe animal-handling practices and because a large percentage of dairy calves, as well as market cows, make their way into the food chain.

The BQA training modules are customized to fit the specific needs of each segment of the cattle industry – cow-calf, stocker, feedyard and dairy operations. The program covers best management practices such as proper handling and administration of animal health products, reducing injection site blemishes, and low stress cattle-handling principles.

More than 2,100 producers across the country became Beef Quality Assurance (BQA)-certified during the last campaign thanks to the program support by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI). That is the highest number in the program’s four-year history, and means that nearly 22,000 producers have taken advantage of these free offers to sign up for the BQA certification program. Through its sponsorship of the BQA certification program, BIVI provides financial support for the Beef Cattle Institute, which developed the training modules.

To become BQA-certified, or learn more about the program, visit www.bqa.org. To learn more about your beef checkoff investment, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.