Beef Quality Assurance


Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) is a nationally coordinated, state implemented program that provides systematic information to beef and dairy producers throughout the United States.  In addition, the BQA program makes beef consumers aware of how common husbandry techniques can be coupled with accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under optimum management and environmental conditions.  BQA guidelines are designed to make certain all beef consumers can take pride in what they purchase in the marketplace – and can trust and have confidence in the entire beef industry.


BQA programs have evolved to include best management practices around good record keeping and protecting herd health, which ultimately can improve the overall animal well-being on the farm.  When high quality and healthy cattle leave the farm and reach the marketplace, the producer, packer and consumer all benefit. 


In Pennsylvania, more than 3,700 beef and dairy producers are certified in the states program. Producers are required to participate in a classroom Level 1 presentation that illustrates the guidelines of BQA, followed by a hands-on chute-side training that takes place on the farm.  At the completion of both components, producers are required to take an exam.  Once a producer has completed both levels of training and have passed the exam they are certified.  Certification is valid for two years.


To learn more about the Pennsylvania Beef Quality Assurance Program, visit the program website or contact Nichole Hockenberry, Director of Quality Assurance at