Why Quality Assurance?
Quality Assurance is knowing that as a small ruminant producer, you have used the best management practices possible in your operation. This includes using proper medications and anthelmintics to assure safe, wholesome products for public consumption, as well as providing your animals with the healthiest and safest environment in which to thrive.
Kentucky small ruminant meat producers are part of a national growing lamb and goat meat industry. Therefore, our products must not be considered poor quality in comparison to other red meats in the marketplace.
A quality assurance statement lets consumers know the product was grown to conform to laws governing domestic meat production and therefore provide assurance of quality to consumers. It also tells consumer that you have the welfare of your livestock at a top priority.
Ultimately, by providing quality assurance in your operation, you can guarantee increased profits because you will be raising animals that are at the peak of health, ready to produce products that are abundant and consistent.
What is the Kentucky SRQA Program?
The KY SRQA Program (Small Ruminant Quality Assurance) is a 1.5 hour certification program that helps producers understand:
The goals of Quality Assurance
Proper equipment needed
How to read a medicine label
How to read medicated feed tags
Veterinary Feed Directives
Prescription use of injectable, oral and water soluble antibiotics
Scrapie tag information
Animal welfare issues
What are others saying?
At Laswell Farms our goal has always been to supply quality products that differentiates itself at the market. Our lambs and kids are no exception, we strive to produce animals with superior carcass quality while utilizing animal husbandry practices that put an emphasis on animal health and well being. As soon as I saw this program I knew this was something that would allow us to expand our knowledge and hone our operation. As a BQA (beef quality assurance) certified producer we understand the importance of these programs and the benefits they provide long after the course is over. Currently we are working to update our social media sites as well as all of our promotional items to promote our Quality Assured status. - Andrew, Rockcastle County
I display my QA digital sticker on the footer of my website. I am also creating a page our site to display Memberships and certificates our farm acquires as we learn and grow so that current and potential customers are aware of our efforts to produce Quality livestock and products. I also have a binder with our QA certificate and other credentials that I can carry with me to the farmers market and other events to bring awareness to the public about these programs and our industries efforts to produce high quality livestock and value added products.- Marjorie Sabino, Larue County
How Do I Get Certified?
To receive your SRQA certificate, just complete these 4 steps:
1) Register for the course (you have 30 days to access the material)
2) Take the Pre-test
3) Watch the videos
4) Take the Post-test
Participants must receive an 80% or higher on the post-test to receive credit for the course. Once you have graduated, you will receive your certificate, which is good for five years.
Here is what graduates will receive:
1) Certificate of Completion to show at your Farmers' Market booth, livestock shows, or in your barn.
2) "I am Quality Assured" sticker template so you can visibly show your commitment on your products.
3) Instructions on how to purchase and create the "I am Quality Assured" stickers.
4) "I am Quality Assured" graphic to use on social media, websites, and emails.
Thank You to Our Partners
Special thanks to Dr. Beth Johnson, DVM, Kentucky Department of Agriculture/Director of Animal Health/Office of the State Veterinarian, for developing the content of this course.