OQBN offers unbiased information on beef value enhancement. It provides producers, and others in the beef industry, with education and tools to enhance access to value-added programs. The programs include health management verification, age verification, source verification, production system verification, genetic verification, individual animal identification and traceability, alignment with appropriate value-added cattle markets and increased access to export markets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is OQBN?
A: The Oklahoma Quality Beef Network is a joint project of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service and the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association. The OQBN is a network of beef producers, educators, veterinarians, industry professionals and livestock marketers committed to increasing producers’ access to value-added marketing opportunities and improving the quality of cattle produced in Oklahoma.
Q: What is the purpose of the OQBN?
A: The OQBN will offer unbiased information on beef cattle value-enhancement. Through education and tools, it provides producers and others in the beef industry enhanced access to value-added programs which may include health management verification, production system verification, genetic verification, age verification, source verification, individual animal identification and traceability, alignment with appropriate value-added cattle markets, and increased access to export markets.
Q: How are decisions made within the OQBN?
A: The OQBN is overseen by an Advisory Board made up of faculty from the OSU Animal Science Department, Agricultural Economics Department, Department of Veterinary Medicine, and Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association. The board takes any recommendations of OQBN to the OCA board of directors for discussion and recommendations before decisions are made.
Q: What is “health management verification”?
A: Preconditioning is a general term that refers to management practices that occur around the time of weaning that are associated with improving health and performance of cattle post-weaning. For the OQBN program, these practices include vaccination, castration, dehorning, feeding cattle in a bunk, and weaning.
Most calves are healthy when they leave the ranch, but stress caused by weaning, transportation, change in environment, etc. may suppress immune function at the same time exposure to disease is increased. Vaccination programs increase resistance and immunity to viruses and other pathogens before a health issue occurs. It is critical in a successful health program that the proper vaccines be administered per label requirements and that adequate time is allowed for the immune system to progress in an environment where the stress levels are low.
There are effective immunization programs to fit different management and marketing systems utilizing vaccine administration during pre- and post weaning periods. These immunization protocols will prepare calves for marketing at weaning or after the backgrounding phase.
Q: What are the benefits of the OQBN Vac-45 program?
A: Benefits for participation in a certified Vac-45 program for the producer and the buyer include reduced cattle stress and shrink, improved immune system, increased sale weight of cattle, increased market demands, brand-neutral (you and your veterinarian select the products to use). Three vaccination options are allowed (you and your veterinarian select the timing of vaccinations). OQBN cattle can be dual certified in other health management verification programs if they fit the requirements of the OQBN Vac-45 program.
Q: What are the requirements to participate in the OQBN Vac-45 Program?
A: To enroll calves in the OQBN Vac-45 program, several health and management requirements must be met. Bull calves must be castrated and healed, calves must be dehorned and healed, calves must be weaned 45 days or longer, producers need to be Beef Quality Assurance certified, calves must be tagged with a program compliant ear tag, raised on the ranch of origin, follow one of the three specified vaccination protocols, and third party verified by an OQBN representative.
Q: What are the three OQBN Vac-45 vaccination protocols?
A: The OQBN Vac-45 program is “brand-neutral” meaning that you and your veterinarian select the vaccine products. The timing of vaccinations include:
- Option #1 (branding and weaning)
- Option # 2 (preweaning and weaning)
- Option #3 (weaning and postweaning).
Q: Is Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification required?
A: Yes. We are currently requiring BQA certification at this time. Contact your local County Extension office for more information on obtaining certification, or visit www.bqa.org for more information.
Q: Is there a program compliant ear tag available for OQBN Vac-45?
A: Yes. An OQBN tag is required for all calves enrolled in an OQBN Vac-45 sale. There will be a minimal charge of $2.50 per ear tag plus shipping.
Q: What are the OQBN Vac-45 marketing costs?
A: There are no marketing fees associated with OQBN participation other than the regular commissions charged by the sale facility.
Q: What is the OQBN Vac-45 enrollment process?
A: To enroll your cattle in the OQBN Vac-45, you must purchase program ear tags available on the web page at which time you will answer a series of questions for enrollment. The information required on the enrollment form is producer contact information, number and sex of cattle, date of first born calf, weaning date, BQA number, sale date and location. The vaccination record sheet will be mailed out with ear tags. Vaccination record sheet should be filled out prior to third party verification. The enrollment process must be completed a minimum of 21 days prior to the sale date or shipping event.
Q: What does third party verification mean?
A: Third-party verification is required for OQBN Vac-45 through a certified OQBN representative. The verification process requires the on ranch inspection of the cattle to determine health, weaning, castration, dehorning, bunk training, and all vaccination records are correct..
Q: Who will verify my cattle in the OQBN Vac-45 program?
A: A representative of OQBN will conduct the third party verification within 21 days of the sale date or shipping event.