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.
The Tennessee Youth Quality Assurance (TYQA) Program is a multispecies quality assurance program that was developed to provide this important education to youth involved in the Tennessee Youth Livestock Program. This program focuses on 6 core principles: Biosecurity, Ethics, Health, Identification, Nutrition and Welfare. Youth must be TYQA certified in order to exhibit at all food animal shows including beef cattle, dairy cattle, goat, sheep, and swine. The goals of having youth complete the TYQA 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 is completed through in-person trainings consisting of traditional classroom instruction and hands-on activities. Youth with current Youth for the quality Care of Animals (YQCA) certification will be counted as meeting this exhibition requirement, they simply need to provide a copy of their YQCA certificate. For more information about becoming TYQA certified, please contact your county Extension office. For any other questions, please contact Aaron Fisher (firstname.lastname@example.org) 865-974-7260).