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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 2023 SFVA Youth Livestock Shows are required to complete a face-to-face, instructor led training prior to September 1, 2023.  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 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.

  1. ​Log into your account at
  2. Click on Username in the top right corner
  3. Select “Course Certificates” from the drop down
  4. Under “Instructor Led Training Certificates” select the child/name that you are looking for and “Download Certificate”
  5. If no certificates or trainings are listed, please contact Katherine Carter at

 2023 YQCA Training Schedule

Saturday, February 11, 2023 Skyline Stockman's Contest, Front Royal, VA

Training Complete

​Tuesday, March 6, 2023

​Buckingham at The B.A.R.N, Buckingham, VA 

Instructors: Kim Mayo and Cayla Walker

Training Complete

Friday, March 17, 2023

VT Youth Beef Field Day, Blacksburg, VA

*Must attend Youth Beef Field Day

Instructor: Katherine Carter

Training Complete

Monday, March 27, 2023

Charlotte County Extension Office, Charlotte CH, VA

Instructors: Darla Marks and LK Mondrey

Training Complete

​Monday, April 3, 2023 ​Rockingham County – Rockingham County Fair Exhibitors only Training Complete
Monday, April 17, 2023 Highland County  *Limited to Highland County Fair Exhibitors only Training Complete
Monday, May 8, 2023

Fluvanna County Community Center, Fork Union, VA

Instructors: Kim Mayo and Cayla Walker

Training Complete

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

*Limited to Page County youth only

Page County Extension Office, Stanley, VA

Instructors: Meagan Dyer and Elizabeth Baldwin

Training Complete

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Frederick County Fairgrounds, Clear Brook, VA

Instructor: Spring Vasey

Training Complete

Wednesday, May 17, 2023 Highland County  *Limited to Highland County Fair Exhibitors only Training Complete
Monday, May 22, 2023

*Limited to Page County youth only

Page County Extension Office, Stanley, VA

Instructors: Meagan Dyer and Elizabeth Baldwin

Training Complete

​Wednesday, May 31, 2023

​Loudoun County Fairgrounds, Leesburg, VA

Instructors: Kim Monroe and Stacy Swain

Training Complete

Friday, June 2, 2023

Rockingham County Fairgrounds

4808 South Valley Pike, Harrisonburg VA

Instructors: Jeremy Daubert, John Benner and Corey Childs

Training Complete

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Goochland County Central High Complex, Goochland, VA

Instructors: Kim Mayo and Cayla Walker

Training Complete

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Nelson County

The Nelson Center, Lovingston, VA

Training Complete

Friday, June 16, 2023

Culpeper County

The Carver Center, Rapidan, VA

Instructor: Kelly Mallory

Training Complete

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Clarke County Fairgrounds

890 W Main St

Berryville, VA

Training Complete

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Augusta Expoland

227 Expo Rd

Fishersville, VA

Training Complete

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Warren County Community Center

538 Villa Avenue, Front Royal VA

Instructor: Stacy Swain

Training Complete

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Giles County High School

1825 Wenoah Avenue

Pearisburg, VA

Training Complete

​Saturday, July 22, 2023 ​Rockingham County Fairgrounds, Harrisonburg -​Dairy Focus

Training Complete

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Pittsylvania County

Clark Family Farm 

3812 W Gretna Rd, Gretna, VA

Instructor: Becky Roberts

Training Complete

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Southern Piedmont AREC

2407 Cox Rd

Blackstone, VA

Training Complete

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Virginia Beach Extension Office

2449 Princess Anne Rd

Building #14 2nd Floor

Virginia Beach, VA

Training Complete

Tuesday, August 8, 2023


Wythe Livestock Exchange

3561 Stoney Fork Road

Wytheville, VA

Training Complete

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Shenandoah County Fairgrounds - Lilly Building

300 Fairground Rd

Woodstock, VA

Training Complete
Saturday, August 12, 2023

Rockingham County

Massanutten Technical Center

Harrisonburg, VA


Training Complete

Monday August 14, 2023

TC Walker Educational Center

6099 TC Walker Road, Gloucester, VA

Training Complete

Friday, August 18, 2023

Fauquier County

PATH Foundation,

321 Walker Drive

Warrenton, VA 

Training Complete

Sunday, August 20,2023

Rockbridge County

Rockbridge Extension Office

Lexington, VA


Training Complete




Katherine Carter - ​Extension Youth Animal Science Specialist; (540) 231-2257

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




Katherine Carter
Extension Youth Animal Science Specialist
(540) 231-2257

Scott Greiner
Extension Animal Science Specialist
(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.

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