New educational tool focuses on calf care

Cattle producers are familiar with the Beef Quality Assurance program, which trains farmers and ranchers on best practices for cattle management. A new educational tool, Calf Care & Quality Assurance, will provide similar guidelines and a framework for calf raisers.

CCQA is a joint initiative led by National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Beef Quality Assurance program. It is funded by the Beef Checkoff and the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management program, which is managed by the National Milk Producer’s Federation, with additional support from the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association and the Veal Quality Assurance program.

“The Calf Care & Quality Assurance program not only exists to support calf raisers, but it helps the consumer understand the attention given to calves, as well,” said Dr. Brett Boyum, Dairy Production Veterinarian for Riverview, LLP and member of the CCQA task force in a release. “Ultimately, the consumer should feel good about knowing that calf-raisers sites following this program will be raising their calves in a responsible manner with their health and welfare as the top priority.”

A reference manual sets the foundation for the program. CCQA recognizes the diversity of calf-raising enterprises and focuses on science and outcomes, regardless of the type or size of the cattle-raising facility.

“This program represents a leading industry collaboration for the calf. It’s an impressive achievement to bring representatives from BQA, FARM, DCHA and VQA together to actively challenge and establish guidelines and standards that align with the values, commitment and passion of calf raisers,” MRCVS, California dairy farmer and task force member, said. “It’s this passion for calf health and well-being that I plan to nurture using the CCQA manual as an educational tool and reference to challenge our practices and optimize our outcomes for the calf. I think we can all be proud of what we do and why we do it and confidently communicate this with the consumer.”

CCQA training will begin in summer 2021, and CCQA certification modules will be available later this year. Visit for more information.