CattleTales Summer Photo Contest - All Entries

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.

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 


The in-person BQA program boasts a network of highly qualified BQA trainers throughout the state who assist in hosting BQA workshops for cattle producers at the local level. Trainings typically take 2-4 hours and are led by authorized BQA trainers. Find a BQA training near you. then register to attend.

Certified Trainers 

If you are interested in becoming an Idaho BQA certified trainer, please submit your application for review and approval. Qualified candidates will be invited to participate in the certification process, which includes completing all online BQA courses, participating in a Training of Trainer event, and successfully conducting two in-person mentored trainings.

 Apply NOW 

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

Chefs experience BQA standards in practice

The journey to deliver high-quality and safe beef requires collaboration from pasture to plate. At each step of the process—from the beef farmers and ranchers who raise beef and abide by Beef Quality Assurance standards to the chefs and restauranteurs who prepare beef in their restaurants there is a strong commitment to delivering high-quality beef that consumers love. 

That’s why Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. in partnership with Chef’s Roll, brought beef farmers and ranchers together with chefs in Idaho, Arizona, Oklahoma, Georgia and California. This video series takes chefs across the beef lifecycle to get a first-hand look at the care that goes into creating high-quality beef. But the journey for quality beef doesn’t stop at the farm or ranch.  

Each video follows a chef as they visit a local cattle operation to learn about how BQA practices are used to sustainably and responsibly raise high-quality beef. The beef farmer or rancher then visits the chef’s kitchen to gain an understand of how beef is prepared and featured on the chef’s menu. The experience is rounded out with a shared beef meal.

watch all of the videos

Idaho Rancher Kim Brackett explains that prioritizing animal welfare is the right and only way to ensure quality beef, and Executive Chef Shawn Smith of Coynes Restaurant shares his "Butler Steak Risotto" with flatiron steak.