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.
ALL exhibitors are required to be YQCA certified in order to participate in the Kansas State Fair Grand Drive and/or Kansas Junior Livestock Show (KJLS). This includes youth who will be showing market animals, commercial breeding females, and/or registered purebred breeding females. The YQCA certification covers a variety of species, without being specie-specific. So, youth only need to complete one certification session to fulfill the requirement, regardless of the number of species they plan to exhibit. Since the program is designed to be a national standard for youth ages 8 and older, 7-year-olds who will be participating in KJLS are exempt from completing this requirement. However, they are encouraged to attend an instructor-led class for the educational value.
Online Course - $12/child
o Youth may complete the training through an online course that includes knowledge builders, interactive skills labs, and quizzes. The online course is designed specifically for each age division, using a child’s age as of January 1 of the current year. Youth may complete the training at their convenience, as long as they have internet access. However, the program is not mobile compatible. Families will need to use a computer rather than a smartphone or tablet if they elect to complete the online course.
Test-Out Option – only 12 & 15 year olds eligible; online only; cost varies
YQCA launched a test-out option for youth in
their first year of the intermediate and senior age divisions. This is only
available to youth in the first year of intermediate (age 12) and senior
(age 15) age divisions. There is no test-out option for juniors. The test
consists of 50 questions and has a pass rate of 80% or better for
certification. If passed, this certification will last through the end of a
child’s age level (intermediate – ages 12, 13 and 14; senior – ages 15, 16,
17 and 18). The intermediate test-out course will be $36 ($12 x 3 years of
certification) and the senior test-out course will be $48 ($12 x 4 years of
certification). If passed, youth will receive access to online modules that
correspond with the age levels indicated above, found on the user’s “My
Library” page. Youth will have one chance to take the test-out option. If
they fail, they will not be provided another opportunity for that level of
certification. If the youth passes, payment for the completed test-out
course will be required after the completion of the test. No payment is
required to attempt the test. Participants who do not pass will be
prompted to register in an instructor-led training or take web-based
Families must create a user account and pre-register all youth through the YQCA
website (www.yqca.org) in order for them to participate in the program and receive a
certification number. The program is integrated with 4HOnline, so families need to use
their 4HOnline credentials to access the site. They should also register each child for
certification by selecting their name from the drop-down menu (currently enrolled 4-H
members identified as members of the family should appear as options). This will allow
all currently enrolled members who have completed their YQCA training to show up on
the LearnGrow report available to local 4HOnline managers. A resource that will guide
families through logging onto the YQCA site to register for the course may be found on
the K-State Youth Livestock website, under Youth Livestock Quality Assurance.
Families must pay for the instructor-led and online class through the site at the time of
registration. It will require a credit card number or coupon code. Extension units may
purchase coupons directly from YQCA. The order form is posted on the youth livestock
program website referenced above. Those ordering coupons for their participants are
encouraged to do so at least two weeks in advance.
Any FFA member and non-4-H youth needing YQCA certification should set up an
independent user account. They are welcome to use any of the aforementioned methods
to complete their training and earn YQCA certification.
Certification Expiration Date
A child’s YQCA certification is valid for one year, from the date they successfully
complete the course. Youth will be required to submit a copy of their YQCA or Youth
PQA+ certificate as part of the nomination process. Exhibitors who will only be showing
registered purebred breeding females (heifers, gilts, ewes), and therefore do not have to
nominate those animals, will be required to submit their number as part of the entry
process. Youth need to complete their YQCA certification by June 15, 2019.
Certification numbers must be valid through the last day of KJLS (September 29, 2019)
to be accepted.
Obtaining the Certificate
After a child has completed the YQCA training, their certificate will be available on the
family’s user account. The certificate will include the child’s name, certification number,
and date of expiration. If the child attends an instructor-led session, they may log in to
the YQCA website on the date given by the instructor, using the same procedure they
did to register for the class, to access their certificate. Families may print copies of this
certificate, as well as download it to any device, for their records. All youth who plan to
state nominate animals for the Kansas State Fair Grand Drive and/or KJLS will need to
print at least one copy of their certificate. It will need to be attached to the Declaration
Form and submitted with the other nomination materials.
State Show Requirement
County fair livestock quality assurance requirements are determined at the local level.
The Kansas State Fair Grand Drive and KJLS are the only two state shows in which this
requirement applies. Families should communicate with their local extension units and
refer to the specific rules for each show in which they plan to exhibit to de
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 a State 4-H Specialist at (785)532-5800.