Skip Menu

Return to Skip Menu

Main Content

Virginia Beef Quality Assurance Program

Beef Quality and Safety... It's Our Business

Producers working together to maximize consumer confidence in Virginia beef through the use of science, research, and educational initiatives.

What is Beef Quality Assurance? (BQA)

  • BQA was established in 1987 by The Beef Checkoff to provide cattle producers with the tools and training necessary to assure animal health and well-being.
  • BQA is a preharvest, supply-chain management program that applies the latest science and technology to ensure safe and wholesome beef products for consumers.
  • BQA certification provides:
    • A formal commitment by producers to observe best management practices
    • Marketing and educational opportunities
    • Initial intensive course
    • Chuteside training
    • Re-certification learning activities


  • Set production standards that can be met or exceeded.
  • Establish systems for data retention and record keeping.
  • Provide hands-on training and education for participants.
  • Provide technical assistance through the Virginia Cattlemen’s Association, Virginia
  • Beef Industry Council, BQA-certified veterinarians, and BQA-certified Extension agents; offer on-site assistance if desired by producers.
  • Ensure that all sectors of the industry take responsibility for the production of a safe food product through proper animal care, handling, and management practices.

Producer Guidelines:

  • Provide adequate food, water, and care to protect cattle health and well-being.
  • Provide disease-prevention practices to protect herd health.
  • Provide facilities that allow safe and humane movement or restraint of livestock.
  • Use appropriate methods to euthanize sick or injured animals.
  • Train personnel to properly handle and care for cattle.
  • Minimize stress to cattle during transport.

Key Program Components:

  • Vaccine and drug practices
  • Livestock feeds and the feed supply
  • Impact of management practices on carcass quality
  • Quality assurance of market cows and bulls
  • Cattle care: Handling and facilities
  • Transportation
  • Biosecurity
  • Nonambulatory cattle
  • Cattle identification
  • Record keeping

The Virginia BQA Program is part of the Mid-Atlantic and National Beef Quality Assurance Programs.

The mission of Virginia BQA is to train and certify beef producers and allied industry professionals in all aspects of on-farm beef quality and safety.

From Gate to Plate, BQA is a positive step for producers and consumers.