March 04, 2024

Beef Quality Assurance Raises The Bar On Raising Cattle

By: Jason Bagley, Texas Beef Council’s Vice President of Beef Resources

As a Texas beef producer, whether your operation is large or small, your livelihood depends on securing consumer trust. And that trust is based on things that mean different things to different people.

For example, cattle producers might categorize sustainability as environmental stewardship, while most consumers consider how animals are raised and treated when defining sustainable meat. Forty-one percent of consumers say they have become more concerned with sustainability in the last year. Now more than ever, it is critical to communicate and demonstrate producers’ commitment to how animals are raised and their dedication to food safety and quality. 

Your management at the cow-calf and stocker level makes a significant difference in whether those consumers have a positive eating experience. The mission of Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) is to promote best management practices for cattle producers to strengthen consumer confidence in beef as a wholesome product. Simply put, BQA helps producers raise better beef so consumers can feel even better about buying it—covering topics like animal care, herd health, transportation, nutrition, and environmental stewardship. More than 85% of U.S. beef comes from BQA-certified operations.

But it’s not always that simple, of course. Raising quality beef requires commitment and hard work. For producers, that means using modern techniques to raise cattle under optimal environmental and economic conditions. For consumers, it means knowing the beef they buy is safe and delicious. In fact, Beef Checkoff-funded research revealed that positive perceptions of how cattle are raised improved by 26 points after learning about BQA.

The Texas BQA program is a collaborative effort between the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and Texas Beef Council. To earn BQA certification, beef producers can take courses online or attend in-person trainings taught by AgriLife Extension experts. Last year, 492 Texas producers were certified through the program.

More branded beef programs are using BQA certification to verify their commitment to animal care. Certified Angus Beef and Sysco recently launched a campaign called “Raised with Respect” to highlight the shared commitment to support farmers and ranchers and the entire beef community. By investing in BQA training, the partnership elevates the cattle industry’s work to address consumer concerns, reinforce trust, and ensure future demand for beef.

As a partner of Texas BQA, Texas Beef Council is committed to sharing the positive story of beef and beef production. Producers play a huge role in ensuring a safe, delicious product arrives at stores and restaurants. BQA trainings aim to build that understanding and give producers the tools they need to be successful. 

To learn more or to find an in-person training near you, visit


Sustainably Raised Meat Insights Report, Midan Marketing, July 2021.  

Consumer Beef Tracker, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, 2021.