Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA)

YQCA has been adopted as the official youth quality assurance program for youth livestock participants at the State Fair of Virginia.  All 4-H and FFA youth in Virginia that plan on exhibiting sheep, meat goats, swine, or beef cattle at the 2021 SFVA Youth Livestock Shows are required to complete a face-to-face, instructor led training prior to September 1, 2021.  Available trainings and details for registration can be found in the tabs below.  Trainings will be organized and led by VCE 4-H and ANR Agents serving as official YQCA Certified Instructors.  The program is directed by the Virginia YQCA State Leadership Committee.

Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) is a national multi-species quality assurance program for youth ages 8 to 21. An in-person YQCA workshop requires complete attendance.

YQCA is the result of a collaborative effort between states that have previously offered multi-species youth livestock quality assurance programs, the National Pork Board’s Youth PQA Plus program and representatives from other national livestock groups.

YQCA is designed as an annual education and certification program focused on food safety, animal well-being and character awareness for youth ages 8 to 21 producing and/or showing pigs, beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, market rabbits, and poultry. The program has been designed by extension specialists and national livestock program managers to ensure it is accurate, current and relevant to the needs of the animal industry and shows and is appropriate for youth.

IN VIRGINIA, the online training certification is not accepted.

YQCA emerged from the discussion of state youth livestock leaders with representatives of national livestock organizations. There was a growing concern about the amount of effort required for each group to maintain an accurate and engaging curriculum to provide youth quality assurance training. The National Pork Board’s Youth PQA program was the first national program and many subsequent trainings were modeled from it. Some states had created multi-species programs to include youth showing animal other than pigs into one training. University of Nebraska Extension had developed an online training platform to meet training requirements for youth in areas where workshops were not available. All of these parties discussed the development of a single, national, multi-species program that could leverage the best of everyone’s efforts. These meetings culminated in 2015 with the decision to work together and establish a new non-profit organization, Youth for the Quality Care of Animals, that developed and offered a training and certification program with the same name. YQCA was founded in fall of 2016 and the program was launched in March 2017.

The YQCA organizational Board of Directors, as well as Virginia Cooperative Extension adopted the following goals for the YQCA training and certification program:

  • Ensure safety and well-being of animals produced by youth for showing and for 4-H and FFA projects
  • Ensure a safe food supply to consumers
  • Enhance the futhre of livestock industry by educating youth on these very important issues so they can become more informed producers, consumers and/or employees in the agriculture and food industry
  • Maximize the limited development time and budgets of state and national youth program leaders to provide an effective quality assurance program
  • Offer livestock shows a valid, national quality assurance certification for youth livestock exhibitors

The YQCA curriculum is broken into four levels: Junior ages 8-11, Intermediate ages 12-14, Senior ages 15-18 and Young Adult ages 19-21. Three or four levels of content focused on food safety, animal well-being and character are outlined for each level. Topics include but are not limited to: The Basics of Animal Identification, Daily Animal Care, Administering Animal Health Products, Providing Quality Care, Herd Health Plan, Providing Quality Feed, Sharing The Story, Goals To Success, and Ethics In The Show Ring.

In addition to the content being crafted at appropriate age levels, each curriculum topic is accompanied by specific educational objectives to guide the learning process. These objectives outline the key concepts and skills youth are expected to master following their participation in the appropriate level of the program.

YQCA Objectives

YQCA Curriculum Map

YQCA is able to provide payment coupons for the instructor-led trainings through industry grants and cooperation with Virginia Cooperative Extension. The coupons will need to be requested through the registration links provided in the training calendar. 


If you have any questions, please contact either Katherine Carter.

Pease try the following steps to locate and print your certificate from your YQCA account:

For 4-H Youth:

  1.   Login at
  2. Choose the “sign in with 4HOnline” link
  3.  Select Virginia 4-H Youth Development in the “select your organization” drop down menu
  4. Enter your 4Honline username and family password
  5. Click “sign-in”
  6. Choose the youth member’s name from the drop down menu
  7. Click “select member”
  8. The course list will appear – based on the age that you selected and signed up for – find the box with word “completed” and the yellow star
  9. Click on that box
  10.  The next window will verify the course and there is a red button that says print certificate – this will allow you to print your certificate

For FFA Youth or 4-H Youth who did NOT use the 4HOnline link to sign-in:

  1. Login at
  2. Choose the “independent sign-in” link
  3.  Enter the username and password you established when you registered previously
  4. Click “sign-in”
  5.  The course list will appear – based on the age that you selected and signed up for – find the box with word “completed” and the yellow star
  6. Click on that box
  7. The next window will verify the course and there is a red button that says print certificate – this will allow you to print your certificate

2022 YQCA Training Schedule

Training Date Training Location Registration Information

Dr. Scott Greiner - Extension Specialist; (540) 231-9159

Jeremy Johnson - State 4-H Leader; (540) 231-2330

Andy Seibel - Associate Extension Specialist; (540) 750-3962

Katherine Carter - Assistant Youth Livestock Progamming Specialist; (540) 231-2257

Corey Childs - ANR Extension Agent - Warren; (540) 635-4549





Katherine Carter
(540) 231-2257

Scott Greiner
(540) 231-9159

Virginia 4-H Livestock Programs Endowment

The Virginia 4-H Foundation is spearheading the advancement of the Virginia 4-H Youth Livestock Programs Endowment. 4-H livestock programming is funded through a combination of private gifts, endowment income, gifts in kind, and participant fees.

More information>>