Farmers and ranchers raising calves now have access to the free Calf Care and Quality Assurance (CCQA) program online at www.calfcareqa.org. The program was developed with an understanding of the diversity of ranches, being science- and outcome-based, while maintaining facility type and size neutrality.
While the practices identified in the animal care reference manual are not the only methods that can meet the desired outcomes, CCQA provides a framework that serves as a resource for anyone working in the calf-raising industry. In addition to the manual, online modules and self-assessment tools, CCQA will release an audit tool later this year. Completion of the online modules provides certification equivalent to Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification.
CCQA certification helps ensure optimal calf health and welfare and is the first collaborative educational tool that provides guidelines for calf raisers. The program is a joint initiative led by NCBA’s beef checkoff-funded BQA program and the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management program, managed by the National Milk Producers Federation with support from the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association, and the beef checkoff-funded Veal Quality Assurance program.
“Certification programs such as CCQA establish guidelines and standards that help earn the public’s trust, demonstrating that beef and dairy producers share their values and are committed not only to quality animal care, but also to ensuring safe, wholesome meat and milk,” said Trey Patterson, Wyoming rancher and chair of the BQA Advisory Group.