Dr. John Maas, extension veterinarian at the University of California–Davis, is known throughout the beef industry for his passion for animal health and the checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program. Recently, he was honored as the 2013 BQA Educator of the Year. Maas serves in multiple cattle health and quality assurance leadership capacities at both the state and national levels, including as a member of the Beef Quality Assurance Advisory Board.
As a veterinarian, Dr. Maas understands important BQA principles of proper nutrition, drug use and administration, and animal handling. He has often shared BQA messages in the numerous articles he has written for beef publications. “BQA provides a solid foundation for animal welfare and disease prevention,” says Maas. “Once we adopt the BQA attitude of cattle health, care and welfare, things just keep getting better naturally.”
Over nearly 20 years, Maas has been involved with the BQA, starting in the early 1990s with the California program and the national advisory board. He has helped coordinate state, regional and national BQA curricula for dairy, feedyard and cow/calf programs and has ensured that producers and their employees have access to these educational programs. “Everybody’s working to make our product better,” says Maas. “Research is the backbone of BQA, and it’s based on science and experience to make sure those tools work for cattle and ranchers in the real world.”
Working with cattle and the people who care for them is what Maas likes best. “Using the discipline I’ve gained academically and through practice to help folks, and knowing there are cows behind them, makes all the difference in the world. That’s the fun of getting up every day!”