Youth for the Quality Care of Animals

Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) is a national multi-species quality assurance program for youth ages 8 to 21 with a focus on three core pillars: food safety, animal well-being, and character development. This program mimics the retired Youth Pork Quality Assurance (YPQA) Plus program, which was the core quality assurance certification program for youth that sell and exhibit their swine for many years. Spanning various different food production animal species, the YQCA program highlights 10 good production practices for youth producers to review and includes specific information on: pigs, beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, market rabbits and poultry.

The YQCA program is designed by an advisory committee and is supported by multiple livestock organizations and various state Extension programs. The goal of the YQCA program is to provide an educational resource for youth that are involved with food animal production, across a multitude of different species.  Exhibitors can elect to receive training online or via a face-to-face session with a certified YQCA advisor.

When accessing the online version of the program, youth will need to complete online modules and 3 correlated quizzes through the YQCA system. This way youth will receive approximately 60 minutes of instruction and can access the program directly through the YQCA develop modules. The YQCA program will also offer instructor-led face-to-face workshops for youth to receive their YQCA certification. To determine if a trainer is available near you please contact the National Pork Board or contact the YQCA program.

Regardless of the method that is used to access the program, a standardized fee will be charged with payment made directly to the YQCA program. For utilizing the online certification system, youth in Michigan will have to pay a $12.00 fee. When attending a face-to-face instructor led session a $3.00 fee will be charged per participant. These fees will be used to maintain the YQCA program, keeping the content up to date with industry standards, government regulations and delivered in an engaging and on-demand platform

The YQCA Program is committed to educating youth about good production practices, including producing safe, healthy products for consumers. This program ensures packers and consumers that the animals are cared for correctly and that the caretakers are aware of the standards and guidelines for using animal health products, using scientific based information.

Special notice: The Youth Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus program will be discontinued June 1st, 2018 and replaced with the Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) program. Youth are encouraged to become Youth PQA Certified until the change occurs.

Youth PQA Plus Training and Certification - The Youth PQA Plus program is geared for youth ages 8-19, who are involved with the pork industry. This program defines best method practices for improved pig well-being and pork quality, teaching youth 10 good production practices for good pig care. This program also encompasses the We Care Initiative supported by the Pork Checkoff program. Youth can become certified in the program by attending a face-to-face session with a certified advisor or by completing an online tutorial developed by the Pork Checkoff program.   


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