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Beef Quality Corner -- BQA Educational Workshops

Livestock Update, August 1998

Bill R. McKinnon, Animal and Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech

The three part educational exhibit and program on beef quality assurance which was developed in Alabama and has received national attention is coming to a livestock market near you. The program focuses on ways in which every cattle producer impacts beef quality and consistency and ultimately, demand for beef. The exhibit was unveiled in Virginia back in April at the Virginia Beef Expo and will be presented on Saturday morning, August 29, during the Virginia Cattlemen's Association Summer Roundup in Wytheville.

Programs are currently scheduled for August 20 at the Pulaski Livestock Market in Dublin and on Monday, August 24, at the Tri-State Livestock Market in Abingdon. September dates include Wednesday, September 2, at the Lynchburg Livestock Market and on September 10 at the Narrows Livestock Market. The livestock market presentations will begin at 6:00 or 6:30 p.m. depending upon market location. Contact the local livestock market or Cooperative Extension office for details.

The three-part presentation entitled "Beef Quality is Every Cattlemen's Business" will be discussed by Extension specialists and local Extension agents. Each of the three presentations is conducted with a 14' X 11' display as a backdrop and prop. The displays utilize photos, diagrams, 3-dimensional mock-ups, and taxidermy specimens (for example: ocular neoplasia ("cancer eye"), cow teeth of varying ages, foot/leg conditions, good and bad udder conformation, injection site locations and lesions, damaged hides, ribbed "ideal" carcass, etc.)

The "Targeted Breeding Equals Customer Satisfaction" presentation discusses the importance of avoiding extremes in breeding and helps producers understand the factors impacting both carcass quality and yield grades. "Proper Management Enhances Beef Quality and Product Value" examines the role producers' management can play in avoiding product defects such as injection site damage, bruising, hide damage, and feeder cattle discounts. The "Responsible Culling Improves Herd Productivity and Efficiency" presentation focusing the timely marketing of cull cows to both enhance their salvage value and improve the efficiency of the cow herd.

The exhibit was purchased by the Virginia Cattle Industry Board in partnership with North Carolina as an effort to improve the consistency of our beef products and, hence, to improve beef demand at the consumer level. Additional meetings will be held throughout the state in the coming months.

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