We are excited about the benefits and positive youth development opportunities the quality assurance (QA) curriculum Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) has to offer North Dakota.
What is the importance of YQCA?
Dr. Travis W. Hoffman, Extension Sheep Specialist, puts this question into perspective for our North Dakota 4-H’ers:
“The YQCA program is based on integrity and thoughtful, responsible management of animals. As North Dakota 4-H’ers we hold a responsibility to ensure production of safe high-quality meat from raising market animals for consumers. It is important to be thoughtful in our actions because as livestock producers we need to create trust with our consumers. Agriculture has provided a “social license” to produce food. We should honor that right, and strive to ethically and responsibly produce animals in North Dakota 4-H. The YQCA program helps us meet these goals and strive for continuous improvement emphasizing animal well-being and a safe food supply.”
YQCA truly is an exciting opportunity to help educate our young people in North Dakota on the importance of food safety and proper animal care as they work with their project animals diligently preparing them for their county fairs, achievement days and the North Dakota State Fair. Skills learned and developed through the YQCA modules on an annual basis will better prepare our young people for future roles in agriculture as producers, in addition to gaining valuable life skills for any future career. The YQCA program also advocates for “character,” a key element to the six pillars of being a 4-H’er. Most importantly, YQCA is essential in providing an avenue to foster the importance of our 4-H’ers role as they work with their animals in providing safe products to consumers.
Don’t forget about YQCA at the North Dakota State Fair!
Quality Assurance (QA) is required to show livestock at the North Dakota State Fair. Only YQCA certifications will be accepted.
All 4-H youth showing RABBITS, POULTRY, BEEF, DAIRY CATTLE, GOATS, HOGS, and SHEEP in the 4-H shows at the North Dakota State fair should navigate to the online YQCA course at yqca.learngrow.io. Exhibitors are REQUIRED to be certified no later than JULY 15 for the North Dakota State Fair or they will NOT be allowed to exhibit their livestock at the show. YQCA is only required for the 4-H sanctioned shows at the North Dakota State Fair. For example, YQCA is NOT required for FFA, Open or Point Shows at this time.
You will use your FAMILY 4HOnline login and password information to access the courses for the ACTIVE youth in your family. Only ACTIVE members will show in the drop-down menu for access to the course. All registration questions with YQCA should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a button for families that have forgotten their password.
Does my county require me to be YQCA certified?
At this time, it is up to the county to make the YQCA certification mandatory for the county fair and/or achievement days. Click here to see if your county requires their 4-H’ers to be YQCA certified.
Two options to be YQCA certified:
Option 1: 4-H’ers can complete their modules online for $12 and print off their certificate of completion. Their YQCA certification number will by placed under “Trainings” for your future reference. 4-H’ers should maintain a copy of the certification as this will be REQUIRED for
those showing in the 4-H shows at the North Dakota State Fair in 2019. Taking the certification online through the module will allow you access to the educational material whenever you would like to return to the module and look something up. This information is also a great tool to reference and studying for livestock quiz bowl.
Option 2: Youth have the option to complete the YQCA certification for $3 in an instructor-led training (ILT) environment. These will be held all around North Dakota. This will show up in the drop-down menu for ILT if available. You will NOT have access to YQCA educational material after completion of the ILT program. The online module option will give you continued access to the YQCA educational material at all times, which is a great tool to reference and studying for livestock quiz bowl.
How long will this take me?
The YQCA site is user-friendly and should make it easy for 4-H families to complete their QA training. The program is a fun 60 minute, interactive, program. The website for YQCA (yqca.org) provides additional information. An additional flyer has been developed for North Dakota with frequently asked questions: ND YQCA. A more detailed description of YQCA can be downloaded in this information packet. For more information about the YQCA program in North Dakota please contact Dr. Leigh Ann Skurupey at LeighAnn.Skurupey@ndsu.edu or 701-231-6658.
YQCA is an exciting opportunity to educate our young people in North Dakota on the importance of animal care, food safety and to better prepare them for future roles in agriculture. It is essential for our youth to know their role in providing safe products to consumers. We are excited to utilize YQCA to “make the best better.”
Want to be certified as a YQCA instructor?
If you are an Extension Agent, Ag Educator or Veterinarian you are qualified to become certified as a YQCA instructor. This opportunity allows our young people to take advantage of a more affordable certification process in a group setting you host as a YQCA Instructor. To become certified as a YQCA instructor, training is offered online. Simply send Dr. Leigh Ann Skurupey an email indicating you would like to be sponsored as a YQCA instructor and she will put your name on the North Dakota YQCA instructor list for approval. The online training takes approximately 60 minutes. You will be required to pass a short quiz with a 70 percent or better after the training. Once approved, you will be sent an email from LearnGrow.org where you will be able to login and take the online training at your own convenience (LeighAnn.Skurupey@ndsu.edu ).
Thank you for helping to ‘make the best better!’
Helpful documents related to YQCA