University of Wisconsin-Extension will conduct a live BQA certification workshop Thursday, Jan. 31 at the Rolling Hills Nursing Home auditorium at 14345 Hwy. B, Sparta.

Registration starts at 5:30 p.m., and the certification workshop begins at 6:00 p.m. The workshop is expected to take 2 ½ hours.

Pre-registration is encouraged to ensure adequate materials are available for participants. Contact the Monroe County UW-Extension Office at 608-269-8722 for registration information.

There is a $15 fee per person (farm operation) for live training, and checks must be made payable to the WI BQA Program. The fee helps with additional administrative costs of live trainings.

Beef Quality Assurance certification is good for three years. Producers need to share copies of their certification with their marketing partners (sale barns or other marketing channels).

Producers can also become BQA-certified by taking the training class online. The website to take the BQA program online is: https://www.bqa.org/certification.

There is no charge for the online certification program.

Some large packers and processors have announced that effective Jan. 1 they will only purchase fed cattle from farms that are BQA or FARM certified. Most dairy farms are FARM certified through their milk processor. Ask a dairy plant representative for help to get a copy of a completed FARM evaluation or a letter indicating the farm’s completion of FARM 3.0 or beyond.

The Jan. 1 BQA requirement impacts those selling finished cattle that are predominantly beef breeds and will be in effect for all markets and all private treaty transactions. Farmers need to work with their marketing partners, or buyers if selling direct, to ensure correct documentation of BQA or FARM certification.

At this time, it is believed that beginning in January 2020, additional processors will begin to require BQA or FARM certification from their suppliers and will likely impact all fed cattle of all breeds.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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