Introducing Youth for the Quality Care of Animals! Back »

2017 Animal Care Wednesday Webinars
Husbandry Practices in the Spotlight

Show animals and youth livestock projects play an important role building character in the youth that work tirelessly caring for these animals. These youth are the future of our livestock industry as well as consumers of animal-based food products. During the December 7th Animal Care Wednesday Webinar, Dr. Paul Kuber, Washington State University Extension NE Regional Livestock Specialist, shared about an exciting new national livestock quality assurance certification program for youth coming out in March 2017.

What is YQCA?

The animal industry recognizes the public concern for the safety and well-being of animals, and is focused on providing a safe food supply to consumers. “It’s a food safety, animal well-being, and life skills certification program for youth livestock projects and exhibitors,” says Dr. Kuber. Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) is a quality assurance program for youth livestock producers aged 8 to 21. The YQCA program covers the seven major species of food producing animals: beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, sheep, goats, poultry, and rabbits. To assist various education levels with meeting the learning objectives, the curriculum content is targeted to four age groups: Junior (8-11), Intermediate (12-14), Senior (15-18), and Young Adult (19-21).

The online modules have three sections that make up approximately one-hour of training time including a content builder, skills lab, and a quiz. For each year’s certification, youth will have topics focused on food safety, animal well-being, and life skills. The YQCA certification is good for one year and youth only complete it once annually regardless of the number of species shown. Dr. Kuber outlined the development and review process of the curriculum and the writers behind the scenes in his presentation. These screen shots of the online modules show a glimpse of the animations and platform.

Who’s behind the YQCA program?

Discussions and brainstorming about a national, multi-specie livestock quality assurance program began years ago. However, the first formal meetings between the National Pork Board, other livestock organizations, state Extension personnel, and industry representative took place in the summer of 2013. Planning and development of the YQCA program continued and YQCA was established as a non-profit organization in September 2016.

Generous financial support for the initial development of YQCA was provided by:

  • National Pork Board
  • National Corn Growers
  • University of Missouri Extension
  • American Sheep Industry Association
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

The YQCA Planning Committee has broad representation by livestock industry organizations, livestock shows, and state Extension specialists across the U.S.

  • Dinah Peebles – National Pork Board
  • Chase DeCoite – National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
  • Emily Stepp – National Milk Producers Federation
  • Peter Orwick – American Sheep Industry Association
  • Mike Avesing – American Rabbit Breeders Association, Inc.
  • Erin Dorsey – National Western Stock Show
  • Mike Anderson – Iowa
  • Jodi Sterle - Iowa
  • Lindsay Chichester – Nevada
  • Karna Dam – Nebraska
  • Deb Weitzenkamp – Nebraska
  • Paul Kuber – Washington
  • Nancy Snook – Ohio
  • Bernie O’Rourke – Wisconsin
  • Brett Kaysen – Colorado
  • Steve LeValley – Colorado
  • Marcia Shannon – Missouri
  • Heidi Carroll – South Dakota

More information

The website for YQCA ( provides additional information, and there is an informational handout that answers some common questions. For more information about the YQCA program in South Dakota and upcoming Animal Care Wednesday Webinars, please contact Heidi Carroll 605.688.6623. Remember this is a new program that South Dakota is excited to offer, so please be patient during the transition period.

To view this and past webinars, please visit the animal care resource website.

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