Our family farming history began with my great-great-... (nine generations ago) grandfather Johannes. He, his wife and three children left Saxony, Germany, on April 20, 1734, aboard the ship St. Andrew, mastered by Capt. John Stedman. They landed at Philadelphia on Sept. 22 and eventually settled our family’s first "New World" farm near Society Run in Frederick Township, Montgomery County, Pa., in 1743. Pig farming was our family’s specialty until the mid 1950s. A lot has changed since then. Our BQA cow–calf operation includes 100% grass-fed registered Red Angus, Hereford and purebred Beefalo; 30 to 35 pastured Duroc and Spot pigs; 100 Freedom Ranger broilers; and 90 Golden Comet and Buff Orpington layers. We organically maintain 80 acres, comprising 15 acres in rotational pastures, 15 acres in tillable cropland, and alfalfa/mixed grass hay on the balance. We have never used chemical pesticides or herbicides on our pastures or hay fields. We are not a "certified" organic farming operation, but we prefer the natural/organic approach to help promote sustainability.
BQA Part 3
Nov 25, 2010
This is the 3rd installment of 5, focusing on Beef Quality Assurance.
This week we’ll keep it short and simple.
I don’t think that what is required by the BQA Program is anything that any BEEF producer can’t uphold. Committing to the BQA way of producing BEEF & Dairy BEEF isn’t going to cost you anything more than what you’re currently doing, In the long run it could actually save you money!
It’s a way of helping producers to improve the way they handle their cattle from birth to butchering. The BQA program wasn’t designed to make things harder for producers; it was designed by producers for producers. It’s mostly common sense. Once you enroll in the program and hear what is expected of producers to be eligible to carry the BQA certification, it’ll all click and you might even ask yourself, why wasn’t I doing this before!? It’s so much better for my cattle and everyone involved in my cattle operation.
The BQA Code of Conduct
- I received training in BQA and use it on my beef cattle enterprise (Farm, Ranch, Feed-lot), because I have a commitment to consumers to produce the safest, highest quality beef in the world.
- I use BQA production practices because maintaining an optimum environment for cattle to produce at their best promotes efficiency and quality at the same time. BQA training has shown me that keeping records of all my production practices is the best way for me to reduce liability, provide quality assurance to my customers, and continue to ensure a safe beef supply through strict adherence to residue avoidance practices.
- BQA has taught me to think about all of my production practices in light of their effect on the quality of the final product.
- BQA is a combination of technology, common sense, a concern for animal well-being, and a consumer oriented production system.
BQA Code of Cattle Care
Beef cattle producers take pride in their responsibility to provide proper care to cattle. The Code of Cattle Care lists general recommendations for care and handling of cattle.
Persons who willfully mistreat animals will not be tolerated.
- Provide necessary food, water and care to protect the health and well-being of animals.
- Provide disease prevention practices to protect herd health, including access to veterinary care.
- Provide facilities that allow safe, humane, and efficient movement and/or restraint of cattle.
- Use appropriate methods to humanly euthanize terminally sick or injured livestock and dispose of them properly.
- Provide personnel with training/experience to properly handle and care for cattle.
- Make timely observations of cattle to ensure basic needs are being met.
- Minimize stress when transporting cattle.
- Keep updated on advancements and changes in the industry to make decisions based upon sound production practices and consideration for animal well-being.