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Idaho Beef Quality Assurance Certification

BQA Certification delivers assurance consumers want about how cattle are raised, and increases consumer trust in the beef suppliers across the state.

why bqa certification?

Idaho’s Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Certification program seeks to improve the competitiveness and profitability of Idaho beef producers and build consumer trust in the industry to expand markets for beef products in the retail and foodservice industries.  

BQA certification documents education and implementation of “commonsense husbandry techniques and scientific knowledge that demonstrate commitment to animal welfare, food safety and quality, safeguard the public image of beef industries, and uphold consumer confidence in beef.” Daniel Buskirk, PhD, Cattle Buyers to Require BQA Certification (Angus Beef Bulletin Extra. September 20, 2018, Vol 11: No. 9). 

For the future of Idaho’s beef industry, the BQA certified producer and BQA-Transportation certified transporters will lead the way to safeguarding, sustaining, and expanding the market share and profitability for Idaho’s beef products.

BQA - Cow Calf


Consumers want to know more about where their food comes from. Data from a 2019 National Cattlemen's Beef Association survey suggests that Idahoans are interested and have opinions about the beef industry that can influence their decisions about buying and consuming beef.

Of consumers surveyed, 42% agree that beef farmers/ranchers embrace innovation to improve quality and safety of the products and that beef producers do a good job balancing economic, social, and environmental issues that are important to consumers. BQA certification documents and formalizes the standards for quality, transparency, and safety of products and improves consumer trust.



Increasingly, processors and foodservice industries are demanding BQA certification from sources of beef products and transportation.  To receive full market value for beef, whether directly to processors or through auction markets, may require BQA certification. We learned via the NDSU Extension - Dickey County, NDSU 2 U Blog that:
  • In 2019, Tyson Foods and Cargill protein required that all beef purchased come from BQA certified producers. 
  • In 2020, Tyson Foods harvest facilities require BQA Transportation certification. 
  • Other industry partners requiring BQA certification of producers: JBS, Cargill, and Greater Omaha. 
  • Wendy’s requires all beef purchases to be from BQA certified farms and ranches. 
Mesa de Maya Inc.

it's in the numbers

With the question in mind of how BQA certification impacts profitability, Colorado State University evaluated the effect of just mentioning BQA certifications in an auction on the sale price across nine western states. What they found was impressive: a premium of $16.80 per head of cattle was realized. This suggests that there is a significant benefit for Idaho beef producers to become involved and certified through the Idaho BQA Certification program. 

read the report

how does it work?

The Idaho BQA Certification program aligns with the national BQA program to provide both online and in-person training. Once you are certified, your certification is valid for a period of three years. As the expiration date nears, a notification will be sent to you with information on how to get recertified. 


Online BQA certification training is fast and easy and can be completed according to your own personal schedule. Your certification is housed in the national database and is recognized across the country. Information on online BQA certification training is available through the national BQA website.

 Learn more 


In-person training will be made available as state regulations during the Covid-19 pandemic permit. Sign up to receive notifications of in-person training availability.

 sign up for notifications 


Visit the national BQA website for more information on BQA certification. You may also fill in a request for information through the Idaho Beef Council.

 contact IBC