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May Producer Profile: Clay Burtrum, Oklahoma
Clay Burtrum and his family own Burtrum Cattle LLC, a cow-calf and stocker operation near Stillwater, Okla. Clay understands that the Beef Checkoff Program provides the tools and training for producers to deliver safe, wholesome beef to consumers.
“The checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program is second nature to our operation,” says Clay. “Being close to a university, we employ students to help on the ranch, and they’re all BQA trained in the proper ways of handling and working cattle in a safe, friendly environment.”
Get to know Clay more here.
BQA handling practices impact quality
Cattlemen have long recognized the need to properly care for their livestock. The checkoff’s Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program develops tools based on sound animal husbandry practices and decades of practical experience and research, which is known to impact the well-being of cattle.
Besides animal health protocols, BQA encompasses cattle handling and facility design, which can greatly impact beef quality and ultimately the profitability of producers. BQA offers training videos on cattle handling and facility design from Dr. Temple Grandin and other low-stress cattle handling experts.
Here are some samples of BQA YouTube videos that feature cattle handling tips and facility design plans:
- Permanent facility design, featuring Dr. Temple Grandin, Colorado State University
- Handling systems for small operations, featuring Curt Pate, South Dakota cattleman
- Cattle handling during weaning, featuring Dr. John Maas, University of California - Davis
- Cattle handling tips for moving bulls, featuring Dr. Ron Gill, Texas A&M University
For more BQA videos, visit the National BQA YouTube channel.
New My Plate, My Way Tool
Following the release of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the MyPlate icon, comes the introduction of the My Plate, My Way interactive eating personality assessment tool developed by the beef checkoff. This tool will help Americans—many of whom strive to eat healthier, but struggle to make it work for their needs and circumstances—better understand their eating “personalities.” Living healthier starts by making small steps toward an active lifestyle with a diet filled with nutrient-rich foods, including lean beef.
Research shows that people who follow a personalized eating plan have greater success at meeting dietary goals than those following a standard diet. Therefore, the information and resource personalization further aids in success for Americans to adopt healthy eating habits.
Read more here.
BQA Study Nears Completion
The 2011 checkoff-funded National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA), which assesses progress the industry makes on a variety of production issues that ultimately affect consumer demand for beef, is nearing completion and results will be distributed at the cattle industry’s summer conference in July.
For 20 years, the NBQA has supplied information to help the industry make improvements in production and marketing that aim to improve the quality of beef for consumers. For instance, injection-site lesions were identified by purveyors, restaurateurs and retailers as their second highest concern in 1991. Thanks, at least in part, to the checkoff’s beef quality efforts, it is no longer a major issue. NBQA managers hope similar progress can be accomplished through the 2011 research.
Read more here.