Beef producers who want to take part in the national Verified Beef Production (VBP) program now have the option of completing their workshops online.
“This new online workshop feature is designed to improve VBP workshop access for producers in remote areas and for others who simply prefer the convenience of online training,” national VBP program manager Terry Grajczyk said in a release Wednesday.
Online VBP workshops offer producers the same information and preparation they’d get at a live workshop, including an overview of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that support on-farm food safety, program staff said.
VBP staff said the online workshop features the same SOPs that are central to the VBP program: animal health management, feed and water, cattle shipping, pesticide control and manure, and training and communication.
Each SOP category features a cross-check to help participants review the material. When all five categories are completed, information will automatically appear to allow participants to send a “notice of workshop completion” to the VBP office.
The first step, Grajczyk said, is for participants to contact their provincial VBP co-ordinator for access information.
“Many of the practices outlined in VBP are designed to complement regular management practices in beef cattle operations across the country and perhaps provide other beef cattle management ideas” for modern operations of every size and type, she said.
VBP is described as a “voluntary, producer-driven on-farm program designed to complement food safety programs in meat processing plants and at the retail level to manage food safety risks across the food chain.”
The program, managed by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, started as an extension of the CCA’s Quality Starts Here (QSH) program and has expanded from a general education program to an auditable on-farm food safety program with optional producer validation available.