This spring, we have been excited to return closer to our pre-pandemic levels of community engagement and education. In the past month, we have hosted beef and dairy producer meetings, spoken at 4H meetings in several counties, read to elementary schools in Hanover County and Richmond City for Virginia Agriculture Literacy Week and coached a tri-county youth cattle working team.
One important meeting that we participated in was Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) training through the Eastern Virginia Cattlemen’s Association. BQA is an important national program that helps raise consumer confidence in beef by training producers in best management practices to demonstrate their commitment to quality. Many special sales require that consignors be BQA certified.
The beef industry is under pressure from proponents of fake meat and other animal rights and environmental activists. It has been demonstrated that learning about the BQA program significantly improves consumer perceptions of the beef industry. We encourage all beef producers to become certified, as a way not only to help promote the industry, but also to improve management practices to produce the highest quality beef possible.