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Youth for the Quality Care of Animals Certification (YQCA)

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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. Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA), which addresses quality in many different species, is a requirement for all 4-H livestock members. Any Indiana youth wishing to exhibit an animal at a county or state fair must complete a YQCA Certification Program.

Please read on to get all of the information for completing the YQCA Quality Assurance Program.

What is YQCA?

The Youth for the Quality Care of Animals Program (YQCA) is a program that will provide quality assurance education for 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 at 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 Henry County 4-H Fair (all other county fairs), the Indiana State Fair, and some open shows.

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. This requirement 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 is so youth learn the 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. The following dates are set up and registration is now open: 
    • Tuesday, April 13th, 7:00 PM, Memorial Park Smith Building
    • Thursday, May 13th, 6:00 PM, Memorial Park Smith Building
    • Watch YQCA Website for courses hosted by other counties. 
  • 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-Henry 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:

  • Do Mini 4-H Members need a YQCA Certification?: No, this is for 4-H members in grades 3-12.
  • When do I need to have my certification complete?: You must complete your certification prior to checking in your animal at the Henry 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.
  • 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. You can find all classes listed at yqca.org when signing up. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. You MUST register for a class before attending. 
  • 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://v2.4honline.com
  • How long is my certification valid?: In most instances, your certification is valid for one year. 
  • 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. 
  • Is there a multi-year certification option?:  Yes, as of 2019 this is an option, but there are multiple requirements you must meet:
    1. You can only complete a multi year certification online, not at an in-person class.
    2. You can only complete a multi-year certification your first year in the intermediate or senior age divisions. If you do not obtain it in your first year as an intermediate (age 12) or senior(age 15), you must continue to complete annual certification until you get to the next age division.
    3. If you do not pass the test on the first attempt, you must complete the annual certification and will need to do so until you are eligible to attempt a multi-year certification again (when you enter a new age division). The test consists of 50 questions and requires a pass rate of 80% or better.
    4. The cost for the multi-year certification will only be charged after you have successfully passed the test. If you do not pass, you will not be charged, and you will need to take the annual training. The cost for the intermediate test-out course is $36 ($12 x 3 years of certification) and the cost for the senior test-out course is $48 ($12 x 4 years of certification). Once passed, the member will gain access to all of the online modules that correspond to the age levels in which they are now certified.

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