Consumers deserve to know that Minnesota’s beef farmers and ranchers are committed to raising safe, wholesome and nutritious beef. The Beef Quality Assurance Program helps farmers to be certified on best practices in cattle handling, management, and care.


national bqa award winners:

Central livestock

Central Livestock operates three livestock markets in Minnesota: Zumbrota, Albany, & Rock Creek with one market in West Fargo, North Dakota & headquarters in St. Paul. Their market locations cover a majority of key livestock production areas.

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BLAC-X Farms, INC.

Located in Rock County, Minnesota, BLAC-X Farms Inc. is a progressive, privately owned commercial cattle feeding operation. BLAC-X sets the bar extremely high for environmental stewardship, animal care practices, and employee training/safety programs. 

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Wulf Cattle

Robyn Metzger from Wulf Cattle Company in Morris, MN and BQA Cow-Calf Award winner, says all employees are required to get their BQA certification upon starting at the operation. Watch more as Robyn takes you on a tour of the farm.

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Standard Operating Procedures

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), or best management practices are critical to ensure that proper protocols and procedures are maintained. Attached is a summary of common SOPs that can be adopted to fit your farm or ranch. 

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BQA Certification Meetings

Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Certifications can be obtained at anytime, free of charge by visiting If you prefer to obtain your certificate by attending a local meeting, click here for the current training schedule

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bqa certification - what you need to know

Who is requiring BQA certification: To date, the following companies have put out official statements regarding their plans to require cattle suppliers to become BQA certified. The requirements of these companies represent their policy, not that of BQA or checkoff programs.

  • Cargill: Met and continue to exceed their commitment that 90% of their U.S. feedyard cattle supply be purchased from yards that are Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certified.
  • Tyson: Require 100% of the cattle they purchase to come from a BQA certified feedyard. 
  • National Beef: BQA certification is required by National Beef for all direct beef suppliers as of January 1, 2019.
  • U.S. Premium Beef: Starting on December 31, 2018, the first day of delivery year 2019, all cattle must come from Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certified feedlots. 
  • JBS: In the U.S. and Canada, all cattle suppliers are required to sign an affidavit indicating their compliance with governmental regulations, certification of Beef Quality Assurance (BQA), or an equivalent animal-welfare certification program.
Frequently Asked Questions: Below are the most frequently asked questions specific to Tyson's BQA certification requirements.

  • Question: There are some instances where cattle are not managed by the owner of the cattle. It was understood that the manager or key personnel needed the BQA certification, is that correct?
    • Answer: BQA certification is based on supplier number. The supplier number that is selling (receiving payment for) the cattle needs to hold the training certification. These situations should be discussed with the Tyson buyer. 
  • Question: What is Tyson's response if a feedyard does not comply with Tyson's BQA requirements?
    • Answer: They will not be able to bid on the cattle.
  • Question: FARM Program Equivalent - Will farmers be able to show completion of the FARM PROGRAM to Tyson Buyers or Auction Markets to be BQA compliant?
    • Answer: Yes
  • Question: How is Tyson going to verify that the producer of cattle purchased through third party (i.e. auction market, coop marketing, etc.) has BQA certification?
    • Answer: Livestock Market managers have historically be hallowed, per FarmCheck, to have BQA or LMA certification. This will continue to be acceptable. However, the market must provide assurance that the supply Tyson is purchasing is coming from BQA (or equivalent) certified producers. How the market chooses to conduct their verification/assurance is theirs to manage. Tyson will not bid on cattle unless the market identifies them as coming from a certified producer.
BQA Equivalent Certification:

  • FARM Program: Dairies that have completed a FARM Animal Care Version 3.0 (or newer) evaluation are considered to have achieved BQA certification equivalency.
    • Acceptable documentation: Completed FARM Animal Care Evaluation, or other certificate or letter indicating completion.
  • Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA): Youth cattle producers (ages 8-21) who complete the Youth for the Quality of Animals program are considered to have achieved BQA certification equivalency.
    • Acceptable documentation: YQCA Certificate
  • Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+): Canadian cattle producers that participate in the training portion of the Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) program are considered to be certified in a BQA equivalent program.
    • Acceptable documentation: Registration or training certificate indicates training requirement is met.