Feature Story

Ashley D. Wright
Livestock Area Agent
The University of Arizona
Southeastern Arizona

Wright, A.*1,
1 Livestock Area Agent, The University of Arizona, Willcox, AZ, 85643

This article, titled “Beef Quality Assurance: The Right Thing to do For Your Cattle and Arizona’s Cattle Industry” was solicited, written for and published in the December 2019 edition of Arizona Cattlelog: The Official Publication of the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association (ACGA).  The goal of the article was to draw new attention to Arizona Cooperative Extension’s Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Certification Program. Following the release of this article, we have seen an increase in inquiries regarding upcoming BQA certification opportunities, and strong engagement with the BQA program at our annual Range Livestock Nutrition Workshops. Almost all participants at each of the three locations either renewed their certifications or stayed after the program for the new certification training. This was a timely release of information, especially with new educational opportunities emerging around the state in the last several years focusing on young or beginning ranchers. This includes a three-year Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded to the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension to provide training and information to beginning ranchers, the reinvigorating of two young farmer and ranchers groups, and the creation of a new committee for young ranchers by the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association. This focus on education specifically targeting young or beginning ranchers and the results of a new study from Colorado State (June 2019) highlighting potential premiums from BQA certification made it an opportune time to expose ranchers, both new and old, to the impacts of the program and provide information on how to become certified. The Arizona Cattlelog is distributed to all members of the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association and available online. Their media kit estimates 2,500 monthly distribution and 5,000 monthly web views for a total monthly viewership of 7,500. Of those, they estimated that 80% are the decision-makers on agricultural operations. 

Article (page 33):