Youth Pork Quality Assurance

Youth Pork Quality Assurance

Special notice: The Youth Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus program will be discontinued and replaced with the Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) program. Youth are encouraged to become Youth PQA Certified until the change occurs.

Online certification: Youth will only be able to certify in the Youth PQA Plus program using the online certification system until February 28, 2016. Starting March 2017 the Youth for Quality Care of Animals program will begin online certifications. All users will need to pay a $15 fee to access this program online. YQCA certification will automatically enroll the youth in the PQA Plus program.

Face-to-Face certification: Youth will be allowed to certified in the Youth PQA Plus program via face-to-face sessions with an advisor throughout 2017. Starting in 2018 face-to-face session will be offered through the Youth for Quality Care of Animal program for a $3 fee. This certification will also enroll the youth in the PQA Plus program.

Youth PQA Plus Training and Certification - The Youth PQA Plus program is geared for youth ages 8-19, who are involved with the pork industry. This program defines best method practices for improved pig well-being and pork quality, teaching youth 10 good production practices for good pig care. This program also encompasses the We Care Initiative supported by the Pork Checkoff program. Youth can become certified in the program by attending a face-to-face session with a certified advisor or by completing an online tutorial developed by the Pork Checkoff program.   

Youth for the Quality Care of Animals 

Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) is a national program that focuses on multiple species. This quality assurance program is for youth ages 8 to 21 and the material has been designed to be age specific. YQCA has evolved from the Youth Pork Quality Assurance Program, developed by the National Pork Board. This program will provide the youth with the certification needed to meet Youth PQA standards.

This annual education and certification program is focused on food safety, animal well-being and character awareness for youth who are raising and/or showing pigs, beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, market rabbits and poultry. The information presented is accurate, current and relevant to the needs of the animal industry and shows and is appropriate for youth.

Michigan youth will have access to the online YQCA program beginning in March 2017 and will receive certification once completing the online modules. MSU plans to offer a hybrid program where youth can certify online or through a face-to-face session with a trained advisor. All YQCA program participants must pass the same certification test with a qualifying passing score.

The national YQCA program is scheduled to launch in March 2017. The first show allowed to require YQCA certification is the World Pork Expo in June of 2017.

About the YQCA Program: The Youth for Quality Care of Animals program is a national quality assurance which is supported by multiple livestock organizations and various state Extension programs. This program has been designed to replace the Youth PQA Plus program developed by the National Pork Board.

The YQCA Program is committed to educating youth about good production practices, including producing safe, healthy products for consumers. This program ensures packers and consumers that the animals are cared for correctly and that the caretakers are aware of the standards and guidelines for using animal health products, using scientific based information.