BROOKINGS — Licensed veterinarians across the state are invited to register for the upcoming South Dakota Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Trainer Certification course. Veterinarians that are current trainers, or those interested in becoming trainers, must attend a certification course with the State BQA Coordinator to offer in-person BQA certification trainings for producers.

The South Dakota BQA Trainer Certification course will be held Dec. 13 at 9 a.m. CST at the Ranch Café in Miller, located at 1109 E. Third St. A fee covers the cost of materials and certification. Additionally, lunch will be provided.

The primary role of certified South Dakota BQA Trainers is to conduct in-person BQA certification courses. They can also assist producers with writing standard operating protocols (SOPs), employee training resources or providing example templates for required BQA records. South Dakota BQA Trainers may also assist producers with completing voluntary on-farm assessments.

The South Dakota BQA program is coordinated by South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension and is funded in part by the South Dakota Beef Industry Council and the Beef Checkoff.

"In South Dakota, veterinarians take a strong leadership role in BQA education and implementation of practices by producers," says Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Field Specialist and Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator. "The Beef Quality Assurance program focuses on many factors that will influence each production segment of the industry. These factors may have impacts on animal health, well-being, handler safety or meat safety. Implementing BQA practices helps to assure consumers that cattle shipped from a farm or ranch are healthy, well-cared for and will produce safe beef."

The certification course will cover the following topics and procedures:

• 9 a.m. CST — Welcome and introductions

• Program overview and updates

• New Calf Care Quality Assurance program

• BQA Transportation

• South Dakota BQA Trainer procedures

• Producer BQA certification procedures

• 11 a.m. — Lunch

• Noon — Preparing producers for assessments, audits or evaluations (BQA, FARM)

• Critical industry topics and additional resources

• Open discussion

• 12:30 p.m. — Quiz

• 1 p.m. — Adjourn

South Dakota BQA Trainer Certification is good for three years. All current South Dakota BQA Trainer Certifications will expire Dec. 31, 2021, unless recertification is completed. This course is the last scheduled South Dakota BQA Trainer Certification for 2021.

To register, visit the SDSU Extension Events page. For questions or more information, contact Heidi Carroll at or 605-688-6623.

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