The Maine Beef Producers Association (MBPA) is dedicated to
building strong communication linkages, helping its members meet
and master the challenges of change, and assisting cattle producers
to anticipate, plan for, adjust to, and meet the changing demands of
the market place.
The Maine Beef Producers Association formed over thirty years ago
when a group of beef producers in Western Maine worked together to
develop better markets for their beef cattle. They organized the first
Feeder Calf Sales where potential buyers could view and bid on
calves from a number of producers. These were successful and the
group expanded to include all of Maine and offer a variety of programs.
The Association still supports beef marketing but is also active in other
areas of production. It was instrumental in bringing Beef Quality
Assurance, a nationally recognized program, to Maine. BQA, as it is
more commonly known, assists beef producers by providing guidelines
so farmers are then able to identify management processes that can
be improved, thus decreasing stress for their animals and ultimately
increasing profitability. BQA also raises consumer confidence by
offering a commitment to quality within every segment of the beef
MBPA has also developed other educational programs for anyone
interested in learning more about Maine beef. The Maine-New
England Beef Expo became an annual event that featured workshops
as well as purebred and commercial beef auctions. It also hosted a
show and educational piece for interested youth, while producer and
industry displays informed the public about beef production.
Responses were so favorable that MBPA took the leadership in
developing the Northeast Livestock Expo, which offers similar
programs for sheep and goat producers in addition to the beef options.
Other programs include a Club Calf Sale, where youth can purchase
purebred calves for 4-H projects, and the Calves 4 Kids Program for
youth to get first-hand experience in raising beef cattle. The
Association also helps sponsor an annual Beef Conference, and a
two-day Beef Basics Seminar, which offers in depth information on a
variety of topics.
Most of these programs would not be possible without the support and
participation of others associated with Maine beef production. MBPA
has built a strong working relationship with producers, purebred
associations, the Maine Department of Agriculture, the Maine Beef
Industry Council, Maine Farm Bureau and Cooperative Extension.
Collaborative efforts have resulted in more educational and marketing
options for beef producers in the state.