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    For Immediate Release

    February 23, 2009

    Contact: Brian Waddingham, Director of Industry Relations,

    Iowa Beef Industry Council, 515-296-2305

                Beef Quality Assurance program raises awareness

    Nevada, Iowa - Heartland Co-op and the Iowa Beef Checkoff helped sponsor a Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program February 18th at the Bill Couser Feedlot outside of Nevada, Iowa.  More than 45 cattle producers and Heartland Co-op employees attended the program.  Beef producers from the central Iowa area participated in the program.

    "Beef quality assurance starts on the farm. By participating in this program, producers show they are willing to stand behind their product," says Brian Waddingham, BQA coordinator and Director of Industry Relations for the Iowa Beef Industry Council.

    Iowa's BQA certification program, which began in 1999, is fully funded with beef checkoff dollars. The BQA program has certified nearly 5,800 producers to date. The BQA program has helped to inform beef producers about the latest management practices such as proper injection site techniques and record keeping practices.  It has also helped to make consumers more aware of the extra efforts taken by Iowa producers to deliver safe, wholesome beef.

    "The Beef Quality Assurance program was excellent. We had many positive comments from producers about the value they got from the sessions," stated Gary Mohr from Heartland Co-op, who was the main sponsor of the event.  "We all need to invest more of our resources in this kind of education."

    For nearly twenty years, the beef industry's Beef Quality Assurance program has encouraged producers to adopt practices that lead to higher quality carcasses and greater consumer confidence in beef.  American and international consumers expect safe, quality beef.  Iowa beef producers work to provide this expectation through the BQA program.

    Bill and Tim Couser both agree, "we as Iowa cattlemen have a responsibility to maintain and uphold the consumer perception of beef being of the safest and highest quality product for their family.  As livestock producers we pledge to continue this feeling of security through BQA programs, and ensuring producers are continuously educated on sound science production practices." 

    Maintaining consumer demand for beef requires a commitment to quality beef production, not only at the feedlot or packing plant, but also within every segment of the cattle industry.

    Producer-directed and consumer-focused, the Iowa Beef Industry Council is funded by the $1-per-head beef checkoff.  Checkoff dollars are invested in beef promotion, consumer information, research, industry information and foreign market development, all with the purpose of strengthening beef demand.  For more information, visit http://www.iabeef.org/.