Producers Invited to Animal ID and Quality Assurance Workshop Sept. 11
at Cottonwood Livestock Auction
Beef and dairy cattle producers in north-central Idaho are invited to attend a hands-on, interactive workshop on Sept. 11 that covers two programs that can help them position their businesses for the future: Beef Quality Assurance, or BQA, and the National Animal Identification System, or NAIS.
Coordinated by University of Idaho Extension and sponsored in part by the Idaho Beef Council, the half-day workshop will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Cottonwood Livestock Auction on Highway 95 in Cottonwood. The Idaho Cattle Association is also supporting the event, entitled "Fine-tuning Your Production Practices."
According to Jim Church, UI Extension educator in Idaho County, the BQA program is designed to help cattle producers improve production practices that influence the safety and quality of their product, while the NAIS can help livestock industries avoid economic losses by enabling 48-hour trace-back of livestock in the event of a disease outbreak. Registration will begin at 12:30 p.m. and a beef dinner will follow the workshop at 6 p.m.
At the workshop, industry-leading veterinarians, animal health specialists and UI Extension faculty will deliver sessions on individual animal identification options, proper BQA management and processing techniques, maintenance of cowherd health and details on how the NAIS will be implemented in Idaho. Speakers will include Dr. Helen Klapprich, a local Cottonwood veterinarian, and Dr. Jim England, a UI Caine Center bovine veterinarian.
By the time they've completed the workshop, participants can be BQA-certified and can also register their premises with the Idaho State Department of Agriculture for NAIS eligibility. An ISDA representative will be available to discuss the NAIS, offer premises registration and answer questions.
The workshop is patterned after 17 highly successful workshops-held throughout Idaho last winter and spring-that attracted more than 600 participants. On written evaluation forms, over 98 percent of the attendees indicated that they would recommend the workshop to others. "Producers realize that these are very important and timely topics, and they seem to enjoy the format we've used to provide information to them," says UI Extension beef specialist Jason Ahola in Caldwell.
Registration is $10 per person and includes both BQA certification and dinner. Producers should pre-register by Sept. 1 by contacting Church at (208) 983-2667, Ahola at (208) 459-6365 or the Cottonwood Livestock Auction at (208) 962-3284.