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Quality Assurance programs are a great way to ensure our youth producers are creating a product we can be proud to consume. In the past, we have used the Pork Quality Assurance Program (PQA), but that program is phasing out at the end of 2017. It is being replaced by Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA), which addresses quality in many different species. Starting in 2018, any Indiana youth wishing to exhibit an animal at a county or state fair must have completed a YQCA Certification. 

Please read on to get all of the information for completing YQCA  Quality Assurance Program for you and making sure you have met all of your needs. 

What is YQCA?

The Youth for the Quality Care of Animals Program (YQCA) is a program that will provide quality assurance education on all livestock species. YQCA is a national quality assurance program for youth ages 8 to 21 with a focus on three core pillars: food safety, animal well-being, and character development.

YQCA includes information for youth exhibiting, Swine, Beef Cattle, Dairy Cattle, Sheep, Goats, Rabbits, and Poultry. YQCA is available as an online program or an in-person training. Youth may complete the training online (http://yqca.org/) at a cost of $12 or they can participate in an in-person training for $3.

Want to understand more about the background and purpose of YQCA? Check out the Purdue Barn Chatter at https://ag.purdue.edu/agcomm/Pages/171212BC.aspx. There is a written and audio version.

The Requirements:

Certification in YQCA is a requirement (and it is very good practice) for youth planning to exhibit an animal (Swine, Beef Cattle, Dairy Cattle, Sheep, Goats, Rabbits, and Poultry) in the Lawrence County 4-H Fair (all other county fairs), the Indiana State Fair, and some open shows. Our Handbook reads:

"New for 2018, to exhibit beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, sheep, goats, poultry and rabbits, 4-H members must be certified through the Youth for the Quality Care of Animals. This is an annual program that can be completed via online modules or in-person trainings. For more information about in-person trainings, please contact the Extension Office. More information about YQCA is available at http://yqca.org. While this is a new requirement, it should not be viewed as just another rule, but rather as an important educational opportunity for 4-H livestock members. Making this an exhibition rule is how we are ensuring that 4-H members learn about quality assurance, but it really has nothing to do with animal exhibition. The real reason we are requiring this this is so youth learn best management practices with their animals. The goals of having 4-H members complete the YQCA program include ensuring that youth will be more prepared to be ambassadors for animal agriculture in their role as youth livestock exhibitors; that animals from youth livestock programs are treated with the utmost care, and 4-H members are contributing to a safe, wholesome food supply."

How to get certified:

There are two ways to complete your certification: in-person or online. Youth may complete the training online (http://yqca.org) at a cost of $12 or they can participate in an in-person training for $3.

Online

  • Cost: $12
  • Timing: Youth can complete the course at their convenience online at any point. 
  • How to register: Go to http://yqca.org and log in using your 4HOnline email and password

In-person

  • Cost: $3
  • Timing: Youth must attend one of the classes hosted by an instructor. Planned courses include:
    • Thursday, March 15, 5 pm, Expo Hall
    • Tuesday, March 20, 5 pm, Expo Hall
    • Tuesday, April 10, 6 pm, Expo Hall
    • Monday, May 7, 5:30 pm, Expo Hall
    • More classes will be announced soon!
  • How to register: Go to http://yqca.org and log in using your 4HOnline email and password

You can find a detailed document (with screenshots) in the files below to help you see how to register for classes. You can also contact the Purdue Extension- Lawrence County Office with any questions you may have. We have computers in the office you can use to register for a class. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • When do I need to have my certification complete?: You must complete your certification prior to checking in your animal at the Lawrence County 4-H Fair. If you complete your certification after May 15, you will need to be sure to bring proof of your completion to your animal check-in (printed or digital certificate).
  • What if I show multiple animal species?: You only need to complete the certification once per year, and that will apply to each of your animals. 
  • How long does the in-person class take?: It is approximately one hour and fifteen minutes. 
  • Can I attend a YQCA In-Person Training in another county?: Yes, if our schedule does not work for you, you can attend a class in any other county. 
  • What if I still have a valid PQA Certification?: Currently, if you have a valid PQA Certification, it will be honored until it expires, even if you show multiple species. 
  • What if I do not want to use a credit card online to register for a class?: You may contact the Purdue Extension- Lawrence County Office to purchase a coupon with cash or check. You will then be able to use this code to register for your class online.
  • When should I register for a class?: As soon as possible! Space is limited in each class, and we recommend registering at least a week prior to the class being offered. 
  • What if I do not remember my 4HOnline email address?: Contact our office, and we can tell you what it is. If you do not sign in with 4HOnline, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to gain access to your completion information. If you do not remember your password, you can reset that yourself using the "Forgot Password" option at https://in.4honline.com 
  • How long is my certification valid?: Currently, it is a one year certification, but they are looking to add multi-year certifications in the future. 
  • What if I am not selling my animal in the Auction?: This is not an auction requirement, it is an exhibit requirement, so to show your animal, you must complete the certification. 
  • Do Mini 4-H Members need a YQCA Certification?: No, this is for 4-H members in grades 3-12.