BQANebr Article 1

Nebraska BQA: Veterinarian Client Patient Relationship

Posted Oct. 30, 2013

By Rob Eirich
Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension

Beef producers are committed producing a high quality, safe and wholesome beef product. A commitment to herd health and veterinary input is critical to achieving this goal.

To this end, developing a veterinarian client-patient relationship (VCPR) is important and will benefit all aspects of cattle performance. Veterinarians' working understanding of cattle disease and parasites can help cattle raisers develop targeted vaccination and treatment programs.

The VCPR is an important to opening the door for cattle producers to get the most from their relationship with a veterinarian.
Over-the-counter (OTC) health products that can be purchased by producers but input from their veterinarian can improve the value the beef producer receives from OTC products. Additionally there are prescription (Rx) medications that require veterinary involvement to acquire and use and without a strong VCPR, veterinarians cannot legally write prescriptions.

But beyond the legal issue, involving veterinarians and helping them gain a good understanding of a herd can improve the value received from Rx medications.

Bottom line: Today's beef cattle producers can get the most of the vaccines and medications used in their herd health plan by developing a strong relationship with a veterinarian. A veterinarian who understands the operation, and who knows the local diseases and parasites, can be a valuable asset.

For more information about Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance or to get BQA certification, contact Rob Eirich, UNL Extension Educator and Nebraska Director of BQA at the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center 308.632.1230 or

Beef Quality Assurance is a nationally coordinated, state implemented program that provides systematic information to U.S. beef producers and beef consumers of how common sense husbandry techniques can be coupled with accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under optimum management and environmental conditions. Eirich directs the program in the state of Nebraska, in a partnership between UNL Extension, Nebraska Cattlemen, and the Nebraska Beef Council.

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