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BQA program offered in Spanish in Winnemucca

Posted 1/12/2010

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and its state, federal and college partners, will be offering a Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program for Spanish speakers at 1 p.m. Feb. 22 at Sand Hill feedlot north of Winnemucca.

The BQA program, which teaches cattle and dairy producers about animal genetics, low-stress and humane cattle handling, pharmaceutical administration, record keeping, and other procedures to produce beef without residue of animal health products or pesticides, is being hosted by Sand Hills feedlot and Western Video Market Representative Steve Lucas. To get to the feedlot, travel north of Winnemucca approximately 10 miles on U.S. 95. Look for the Sand Hills feedlot sign on the east side of the road.

BQA safety requirements exceed standards established by the federal government. If your ranch employees are involved in beef or dairy production, speak only Spanish, and have a desire to learn more about BQA, the event for them is voluntary and free.

Scott Jensen, University of Idaho, Owyhee County Extension Educator, will teach the program exclusively in Spanish and will address both dairy and beef production issues.

The Nevada BQA program is administered by the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, Nevada Beef Council in cooperation with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, University of Nevada College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency.

As a bonus, participants can take a short, voluntary test on BQA and become Level 1 BQA certified, receiving a certificate of completion. By becoming Level 1 certified, you agree to adhere to the animal handling and other management practices taught during the program. These practices ensure producers are making every effort possible to produce a safe and wholesome product for the consumer.

“American families expect and deserve quality and wholesome beef," said Steve Lucas, host of the program and owner-manager of Sand hills Feedlot.

"Cow-calf producers are the very first link in the production chain. What they do in the raising, feeding and marketing of these animals does have an impact on the final beef product,” Ron Cerri, Nevada Cattlemen’s Association president and advocate of the BQA educational efforts, said.

The BQA program was created 15 years ago by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. BQA brings together beef producers with the goal of producing safe, wholesome beef. The program seeks to maximize consumer confidence in beef by focusing the industry on beef quality through the use of science, research and education initiatives.

“Cattle producers are committed to producing a safe and wholesome food," Jensen, the University of Idaho Owyhee County Extension agent, said. "Americans have the safest food supply in the world. No other country can match the effective food safety record of the United States. Cattle, like humans, sometimes need medical assistance to fight illness and stay healthy. Cattlemen work closely with veterinarians, scientists and other professionals to ensure that medications are administered properly.”

Level 1 Nevada BQA educational programs can be presented by request in any Nevada community or on any ranch, in either English or Spanish. Contact the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association office at (775) 738-9214, nca@sierra.net; Ron Torell at (775) 738-1721, torellr@unce.unr.edu; Dr. David Thain (775) 784-1377, dthain@cabnr.unr.edu; or Dr. Ben Bruce (775) 784-1624, bbruce@cabnr.unr.edu.

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