A major aspect of beef production in Canada is validating responsible on-farm practices, and that’s just what the Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) Program does.
Erica Stewart is the coordinator for the VBP+ in Saskatchewan and is responsible for delivering the national program to beef producers in the province.
“There are some benefits for the individual producer, as well as the entire industry, once becoming certified,” Stewart said.
According to their website, the main perk of getting certified with VBP+ is the verification of safe and responsible practices on a producer’s farm, to their customers.
The voluntary program is made-up of an educational component that comes before a certification.
In-person workshops make up the education aspect and are for producers to take the VBP+ training, which focuses on standard operating procedures and beneficial management practices, to be implemented in their operation.
After program completion, a VBP+ auditor would visit the operation to verify the establishment is implementing the required procedures, and if so, the certificate would be granted.
Meeting industry standards for food safety, animal care, biosecurity and environmental stewardship can lead to even more advantages, as stated on their site.
A VBP+ training session will take place in Swift Current on Thursday, July 28 at Southwest Animal Health Centre, the first step toward certification.
Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. and the training will go from 10 a.m. to noon.
“There will be a free lunch for anybody that's registered,” Stewart said. “Then in the afternoon from 1:00 to about 3:00 p.m. we will be doing a tour of the Wheatland Conservation Area focusing on forge species.”
Anyone in the area that has questions about Thursday’s VBP+ program in town, is encouraged to reach out via their website (verifiedbeef.ca) or their social media (Saskatchewan Verified Beef).