Youth Pork Quality Assurance Plus program
Thousands of youth raising and exhibiting swine in Michigan are certified in the Youth Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus program.
Youth Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus is the food safety, antibiotic use and animal well-being awareness and education program for youth pork producers ages 8 to 19. Youth PQA Plus mirrors the content of the industry’s adult program, Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus, but presents it in a format more favorable to youth learning. Each year, Michigan State University Extension staff, FFA advisors and veterinarians serve as instructors and conduct classes across the state to help youth become certified in this great program.
Youth PQA Plus provides youth with knowledge and understanding of important concepts that are needed to raise a healthy and safe product. Raising an animal and getting it ready to market allows youth the opportunity to gain life skills that will be used for years to come. Below are just two of the many life skills that are addressed in the Youth PQA Plus program training:
- Responsibility. Youth are taught how to be responsible producers. Producers care for their animals every day. Some of the information taught in training includes reading the medication label, observing animals daily, recording medicine given, keeping equipment clean and more.
- Disease prevention. During the training, youth learn about disease prevention for their animals and themselves. The training teaches youth about biosecurity and ways to keep sicknesses away from their swine projects.
Michigan 4-H Youth Development programs encourage youth interested in swine projects to attend a training to learn more about their project. Some county fairs or livestock programs make this a requirement for participation. Please visit the MSU Extension Animal Science Events page to find a Youth PQA Program training near you.