Youth Quality Assurance Program
The Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) curriculum enhances the educational experience for youth who show or produce livestock. It is a national, multi-species, science-based program for ages 8 to 21.
YQCA was developed through a collaboration of livestock industry professionals and educators. It is an expansion of the National Pork Board’s former Youth PQA Plus program, which offered training for swine only. The goal of the revised program is to continually improve the care of animals and provide a higher level of food safety to consumers.
YQCA certification can be earned in three ways — online training, instructor-led training, or test out. It focuses on three core pillars — food safety, animal well-being and character development — for the following animals:
- Beef Cattle
- Dairy Cattle
- Market Rabbits
Certification for Fairs and Livestock Shows
YQCA certification is accepted by many state livestock shows and fairs that require youth quality assurance certification. Exhibitors with current Youth PQA Plus certificates will be accepted at shows until June 2021 when all current certifications will expire.
Some states have pursued state-specific youth quality assurance education and programs that meet the minimum standards of Pork Checkoff-approved youth certification programs.