SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois Beef Association is introducing new producer education opportunities this winter as part of an expanded lineup of the annual Beef Quality Assurance workshops to be held throughout the state.
New this year, the Cattlemen Connect education series is designed to take IBA events closer to members throughout Illinois. These meetings cover topics including current state and federal livestock production regulations, economic climate of the cattle feeding industry and various feeder and cow-calf nutrition-focused topics.
There are two Cattlemen Connect meetings currently scheduled, with the first Dec. 6 in DeKalb County at the county Farm Bureau office in Sycamore. The other is Jan. 19 in Pike County at John Wood Community College Ag Education Center near Baylis.
Both meetings occur in conjunction with a BQA workshop, allowing producers to attend the afternoon presentations on beef production and stay for dinner and the testing and certification in the evening.
BQA is a national program designed to raise consumer confidence through offering proper management education and guidelines for the beef industry.
Producers re-certify BQA every three years and can complete the course online at BQA.org or at one of the in-person trainings, which are facilitated by IBA and University of Illinois Extension.
“The Illinois BQA program is a proven education system that teaches sensible management practices that help improve the quality and safety of beef,” said Travis Meteer, U of I Extension beef specialist and state BQA coordinator. “It clearly demonstrates how a producer’s actions on the farm have a huge impact on the final beef product.”
Registration for Cattlemen Connect meetings is $25 for IBA members and $50 for nonmembers to cover the program and meal and the cost includes BQA certification.
The five standalone BQA trainings also require registration and are free to IBA members with a $20 fee for nonmembers, to cover the meal and training materials.
Meeting dates and locations include:
• Nov. 30: BQA — 6 p.m., Fairview Sale Barn, Fairview.
• Dec. 1: BQA — 6 p.m., Greenville VFW Hall, Greenville.
• Dec. 6: Cattlemen Connect with BQA — 3 p.m., DeKalb County Farm Bureau, Sycamore.
• Dec. 8: BQA — 6 p.m., Reel Livestock Center, Congerville.
• Dec. 13: BQA — 6 p.m., Arthur Sale Barn, Arthur.
• Dec. 14: BQA — 6 p.m., United Producers Inc., Salem.
• Jan. 19: Cattlemen Connect with BQA — 3 p.m., JWCC Ag Education Center, Baylis.
Additional Cattlemen Connect meetings are being planned for 2023 and will be announced soon.
Call the IBA office at 217-787-4280 or go online at www.IllinoisBeef.com to register.