See the details of the Calf Care Quality Assurance Program (CCQA), aimed at improving calf welfare, an important concern for the Florida Beef Industry.

“Animal industries should be prepared for species specific animal care programs required by processors and retailers in the near future,” according to a UF/IFAS South Florida Beef-Forage Article of the Month. This is because of an increase in consumer demand for wanting to know where their food comes from and how it is produced. The new Calf Care Quality Assurance Program (CCQA) Manual aims to address this for the care and welfare of calves. See the details of the CCQA from the article below.

Details of the Calf Care Quality Assurance Program

According to the article, the mission of the Calf Care Quality Assurance Program, as stated in the CCQA manual is “The Calf Care and Quality Assurance program promotes a mindset — a way of thinking — that prompts calf raisers to approach management decisions with thoughtfulness and an appreciation for the responsibility they have to their animals, consumers, the environment, and the broader cattle industries in the United States.”

Three goals steer the program:

  1. Recommend animal welfare guidelines and production practices that are appropriate to a facility that producers can realistically meet or exceed while ensuring food safety and quality.
  2. Provide training, certifications, educational resources, self-assessments, and guidance for adopting these guidelines to achieve desired outcomes for calf health and welfare.
  3. Establish a foundation and framework for excellent animal care. Producers must take forward steps and instill excellence in animal care daily through their farms’ cultures by way of active leadership, oversight, and management.

Areas covered by the manual include:

  • Calf Health: health management plans, identification, drug use (stewardship, residue avoidance, and record keeping), morbidity and mortality, vaccinations, biosecurity and sanitation, non-ambulatory animals, euthanasia, transportation, monitoring of production and performance, lameness and locomotion.
  • Animal Handling and Stockmanship: basic handling, movement, restraint, animal handling and processing measures, broken tales, tail docking, animal abuse and neglect.
  • Management and Care: water and feed, nutrition, body condition, resting area (space allowance and bedding), hygiene and cleanliness, hock and knee injuries, environment quality, social contact, exercise and freedom of movement, routine procedures, castration, supernumerary teat removal.
  • Personnel Training and Emergency Preparedness: employee training and continuing education, emergency preparedness.

The manual and training resources are available at

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.