As pig farming is mainly a family-oriented business, it has been a practice to involve children in the farm and task them with specific responsibilities. In 2003, a youth version of the PQA Plus® program was launched to mirror the content, but presented in a format more conductive to a younger audience. Recently, educators and livestock industry professionals noticed National Pork Board’s success with Youth PQA program and determined the need for a multi-specie, science-based education program for exhibitors ages eight to 21, nationally.
In May 2018, the National Pork Board fully implemented Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) as the quality assurance program for swine exhibitors. The Youth PQA Good Production Practices (GPPs) are within the YQCA content, only identified in a different way. For additional information on YQCA visit, http://yqca.org/.
Exhibitors with current Youth PQA certificates will be accepted at shows until June 2021 when all current certifications will expire.
Some states have pursued state-specific youth quality assurance education and have created state-specific programs that meet the minimum standards of Pork Checkoff approved youth certification programs.