Since it was introduced, this nation's beef quality assurance (BQA) program has measurably improved safety, helped reduce chemical residues in beef and given producers new models for quality production.

When the program started in the early β€˜80s, less than 2% of beef had chemical residues of some kind. The most recent U.S. Department of Agriculture tests conducted in 2008 show chemical residues down to .00007% in beef cattle, said Dee Griffin, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) feedlot veterinarian.

β€œIt is now clear that educational efforts by Cooperative Extension and the beef industry over the last 10 to 15 years has paid off in measurable reductions in chemical residues in meat,” said Dave Smith, UNL dairy/beef veterinarian.

In the BQA program, federal government agencies supply regulations and data, while Cooperative Extension at land-grant institutions and commodity groups help with dissemination and education. The intended result is that producers lead quality initiatives that benefit their customers.

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