As beef producers, managers and employees continue to complete Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) programs, the methods by which they gain their certification are undergoing a makeover.
Currently, there are more than 7,000 individuals who hold BQA certification, however not all of those certifications are through the conventional face-to-face training meetings.
An increasing amount of people are earning their BQA certification online; approximately 10% of current BQA certificates were earned online through www.animalcaretraining.org. Managed by the Beef Cattle Institute, the website features training certification for, among others, Comprehensive BQA, Transportation BQA and Dairy Cattle Care.
The increase in online certifications can be attributed to the ease of access and the ability to work at one’s own pace. The Comprehensive BQA program is comprised of 28 modules which can be stopped and resumed according to the time constraints of the individual. Each module features a short video and a quiz to test the individual’s knowledge of the material; most modules are 7-12 minutes long. At the completion of a program, the user is given access to a personalized certificate, which can be printed for proof of qualification.
When weighing the cost of completing a face-to-face training against an online program, which is $25 per program, it’s not difficult to see why more people are turning to their computers. The cost of a face-to-face training isn’t in the meeting; it’s in the gas and time it takes to drive to town and the opportunity cost of sitting in a meeting for four hours; the time away from the farm. By opting to complete training online producers and employees can manage their time more efficiently and earn certification at their own pace.
Producers and employees who are interested in participating can view a sample module at www.animalcaretraining.org before deciding to purchase the full BQA program.