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In the news: Calf Care and Quality Assurance program launched

Progressive Cattle Editor Tyrell Marchant Published on 24 June 2022

U.S. farmers and ranchers raising calves now have access to the free Calf Care and Quality Assurance (CCQA) program online. CCQA promotes thinking that prompts calf raisers to approach management decisions with thoughtfulness and an appreciation for the responsibility they have to their animals, consumers, the environment and the broader cattle industry.

The program was developed with an understanding of the diversity of calf-raising enterprises, being science- and outcomes-based while maintaining facility type and size neutrality. While the practices identified in the animal care reference manual are not the only practices that can meet the desired outcomes, the program provides a framework that serves as a resource for anyone raising calves in the industry. In addition to the manual, online modules and self-assessment tools, CCQA will release an audit tool later this year. Completion of the CCQA online modules provides certification equivalent to Beef Quality Assurance certification.

Certification through CCQA helps ensure optimal calf health and welfare and is the first collaborative educational tool that provides guidelines for U.S. calf raisers. The program is a joint initiative led by NCBA’s Beef Checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance program and the FARM Program, managed by the National Milk Producer’s Federation with support from the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association, and the Beef Checkoff-funded Veal Quality Assurance program.

USDA actions hope to strengthen food supply chain

On May 26, the USDA announced a suite of new actions meant to deliver on commitments from President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that the USDA is making available $200 million under the new Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program (MPILP) to strengthen the food supply chain and create opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs in rural communities. These funds will provide financing to independent meat and poultry processors to start up and expand operations. By introducing competition at this bottleneck point in the supply chain, the agency is hoping investments will help raise earnings for farmers and lower prices for consumers. The MPILP will provide grants of up to $15 million to nonprofit lenders, including private nonprofits, cooperatives, public agencies and tribal entities. These intermediaries will use that funding to establish a revolving loan fund to finance a variety of activities related to meat and poultry processing. For example, businesses may use the loans to acquire land, build or expand facilities and modernize equipment.

For more information, visit USDA Rural Development - Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program end mark

Tyrell Marchant
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