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The Code of Cattle Care

Hold yourself to a higher standard and help raise consumer confidence in the safety and quality of beef products.
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Beef cattle producers take pride in their responsibility to provide proper care to cattle. Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) is a program that trains farmers and ranchers on best practice cattle management techniques to ensure their animals and the environment are cared for within a standard set of guidelines across the U.S. beef industry. 

This Code of Cattle Care from Beef Quality Assurance lists general recommendations for care and handling of cattle that all responsible ranchers should follow:  

  • 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 medical care.  
  • Provide facilities that allow safe, humane and efficient movement and/or restraint of cattle.  
  • 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.  
  • Persons who willfully mistreat animals will not be tolerated.

Becoming Beef Quality Assurance Certified helps beef farmers and ranchers raise better beef so consumers can feel even better about buying it. But it’s not always that simple, of course. Raising quality beef requires commitment and hard work. Certification is earned, not bought. For beef farmers and ranchers, that means using modern techniques to raise cattle under optimal environmental and economic conditions. For consumers, it means knowing the beef they buy is wholesome and delicious. In fact, more than 85% of U.S. beef comes from BQA-certified farmers and ranchers.

Learn more about BQA certification and register for free in-person training or online certification


Tailored Advice From Experts

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Additional Resources

Watch NCBA Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) winner profiles. See how the beef industry showcases its stewardship, conservation and business practices that work together on farms and ranches.

Blair Brothers Angus Ranch – South Dakota

Gracie Creek – Nebraska

Beatty Canyon Ranch – Colorado

JY Ferry & Son, Inc. – Utah

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