Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA)
Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) is a new, national, multi-species livestock quality assurance program available for youth ages 8-21. This annual educational and certification program focuses on food safety, animal well-being, and character awareness for youth producing and/or showing livestock. The species included in the training are swine, beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, market rabbits, and poultry. Extension specialists, the National Pork Board, national show organizers, and animal industry representatives were involved in designing the program with the intent to provide a national, standardized livestock quality assurance program applicable to multiple species. The curriculum is designed to provide different age-appropriate modules annually, so youth will expand their knowledge by covering new topics every year. There are two options by which youth may obtain their YQCA certification; they may attend a 60-minutes face-to-face training with a certified instructor, or they may complete the age-appropriate online certification course. There is a $3/child fee for the face-to-face training, while the online certification course is $12/child. The YQCA program has been integrated into the 4HOnline system, so families may register for a face-to-face training, or complete the online certification, by using their 4HOnline credentials to login and create a YQCA account on the YQCA website. There is also an option to create an independent account for FFA members.
Youth swine exhibitors in the Kansas State Fair Grand Drive and/or Kansas Junior Livestock Show (KJLS) are currently required to complete Youth PQA Plus training and have an active certification number in order to participate. This information is submitted as part of the state nomination process. The Youth PQA Plus requirement will continue for 2018, however, Youth PQA Plus or YQCA certification will be accepted. The Youth PQA Plus program will be discontinued on May 31, 2018. At that point, all youth seeking livestock quality assurance training will need to use the YQCA program. For those youth who previously tested out of their age division through the Youth PQA Plus program and earned a multi-year certification, those certifications will be honored until they expire.
Kansas State Fair Grand Drive and/or KJLS non-swine exhibitors (beef, sheep, meat goat) are encouraged to participate in youth quality assurance training as an educational opportunity and become YQCA certified. However, it will not become a requirement to exhibit at the Kansas State Fair Grand Drive and/or KJLS for all species exhibiting livestock until 2019. Over the next year, all youth exhibitors are encouraged to become familiar with the YQCA program, so they are prepared to complete their certification for the 2019 livestock project year.
For more information about YQCA, please visit www.yqca.org, contact the K-State Youth Livestock Program Coordinator, Lexie Hayes, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (785)532-1264, or State 4-H Specialist, Pam Van Horn, at email@example.com or (785)532-5800.