NEWS

Beef specialist highlights importance of quality assurance and Beef Month

Denise Schwab, Beef Specialist
Iowa State University Extension
Beef cattle standing in a pasture.

May is National Beef Month across the nation, which makes this an excellent time to highlight the importance of the cattle industry, as well as best practices for producing quality beef for consumers.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist Denise Schwab explains the importance of the Beef Quality Assurance program in a new video featuring the partnership with the Iowa Beef Industry Council, beef producers and ISU Extension and Outreach.

According to the Iowa Beef Industry Council, Iowa’s cattle industry contributed in excess of $7.32 billion in business activity to Iowa’s economy. The value of this industry to the state is important, as Iowa is an essential producer of beef nationwide and worldwide.

Advances in beef science as well as changes in consumer demand can create an opportunity for beef producers to produce higher quality beef, as a series of classes by the Iowa Beef Industry Council highlights. The classes, taught by extension experts, help producers to identify ways to produce nutritious and high-quality beef that meets consumer expectations. 

Beef Quality Assurance classes highlight how simple changes can improve beef quality and animal health and wellbeing.

“The Beef Quality Assurance program contains nine components that we address every year,” Schwab explained. “The ones we probably put the most emphasis on have been stockmanship and animal handling, animal health and record keeping.” 

Also, as consumers become more invested in how and where their beef is produced, a Beef Quality Assurance certification can help to establish trust and transparency between producers and consumers.

“For producers, it’s really important to get certified because it’s telling consumers that as a producer you are educating yourself to improve the operation and you’re really taking food safety into consideration, which goes a long way to help us sell more beef,” Schwab added.

The video, which highlights the benefits of the program and features several producers, is available on YouTube. For more information on the classes, including upcoming Beef Quality Assurance events, visit the Iowa Beef Industry Council website.

Iowa beef at a glance

  • There were 3.85 million head of cattle in Iowa, as of Jan. 1, 2022.
  • Iowa ranks seventh in the nation for the number of all cattle and calves.
  • Cash receipts from Iowa cattle and calves topped $4 billion in 2021.
  • More than 17,500 Iowa jobs are directly related to the cattle industry.
  • There were 19,171 Iowa farms with beef cows, as of the 2017 census of agriculture.
  • There were more than 1.17 million cattle on feed in Iowa as of Jan. 1, 2022.