New: Youth Quality Assurance Program for Tennessee

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Aaron Fisher, Extension Specialist, Youth Livestock and Equine Programs

Last fall, the 4-H Animal Science Work Group decided that it was a priority to develop a youth quality assurance program specific for Tennessee. A sub-committee of that group was formed and has spent the last 10 months or so working on a new program (Doug Berny, Staci Foy, Julie Giles, Thomas Greenlee and Erin Thomasson). I am pleased to let you know that we developed a program specific for youth in Tennessee. It has been reviewed and it’s ready to go. We have debated the best timing for initiating this program and have decided that in preparation for the swine show was our target.

In the attached document you will find more specific details related to this new program and its implementation. Below are a few highlights:

  • Focuses on 6 core principles: Biosecurity, Ethics, Health, Identification, Nutrition, Welfare
  • The focus each year will be on 2 of these principles – Health and Identification are the focus on 2022
  • The program is based on a minimum of 60-minutes of instruction
    • Achieved through traditional classroom instruction and hands-on activities
  • It is intended to be an in-person training program, with flexibility for web-based delivery methods during years like 2020
  • We will waive the YQCA requirement for sheep and dairy shows in 2021
    • It is still important and is recommended for youth in these shows, but in-person trainings will not be possible due to not signing new YQCA contract
  • Agent training will be available at the Joint Animal Science In-service at MTREC on October 12-13; more specific details about the training will be sent out soon
    • Web-based trainings will also be made available for those that cannot attend in person

Like all new programs, I am sure there will be issues that will pop up with the mechanics of this program. We will work through these and make it better as we go. We have attempted to incorporate flexibility in all aspects of the system and wherever possible allow for customization at the county level so you can make it work best for your county.

I am most excited about having our own system that we have 24/7 access to and the ability to adjust as we see fit.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks, Aaron