Quality assurance is one of the most critical educational areas of need in youth livestock programs. It is imperative that youth learn to raise and exhibit their animals in ways consistent with responsible animal care, while also ensuring that animals entering the food chain from the Tennessee Youth Livestock Program meet current food safety guidelines.
Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) is a national multispecies quality assurance program focused on food safety, animal well-being, and character awareness for youth producing and/or showing swine, beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, rabbits, and poultry. Youth must be YQCA certified in order to exhibit at all food animal shows (beef, dairy, goat, sheep, and swine). The goals of having youth complete the YQCA program include ensuring that:
- Youth will be more prepared to be ambassadors for animal agriculture in their role as youth livestock exhibitors.
- Animals from youth livestock programs are treated with the utmost care.
- Youth are contributing to a safe, wholesome food supply.
This is an annual program that can be completed via online modules or in-person trainings. To create an account, register for a training, complete the online modules, or to learn more about the program, please visit Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA). For more information about in-person trainings, please contact your county Extension office. For any other questions, please contact Aaron Fisher (firstname.lastname@example.org; 865-974-7260).