Nebraska 4-H requires all youth enrolled in livestock projects to complete annual quality assurance certification through Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA). YQCA is a national multi-species quality assurance program focused on three core pillars: food safety, animal well-being, and character development.
YQCA certification is required for all 4-H members enrolled in any of the following projects:
- Beef (bucket calf, feeder calf, breeding beef, market beef)
- Dairy Cattle
- Goat (breeding meat goat, dairy goat, meat goat)
- Sheep (breeding sheep, market sheep)
- Swine (breeding swine, market swine)
Nebraska 4-H members ages 8-18, who are enrolled in any of the livestock projects listed above are required to participate in an annual YQCA training. Annual training requirements may be satisfied by completing either an online web-based training course or a face-to-face instructor-led training course.
Web-based annual training is available through the YQCA learning management system. The online YQCA course costs $12 per individual regardless of age. Please see the YQCA Login & Course Completion Instructions for more information.
Face-to-Face YQCA training is also available to satisfy annual training requirements. Please note that these training courses must be facilitated by a YQCA Certified Instructor. In-person YQCA training courses cost $3 per individual regardless of age. To find an up-to-date schedule of upcoming face-to-face training opportunities, please see the YQCA Training events within the Nebraska 4-H Livestock Program calendar.
Test-out options are only available to youth in the first year of Intermediate (age 12) and Senior (age 15) age levels. There is no test-out option for Juniors. If passed, youth will not be required to complete the annual training requirements for the remainder of their current age level (Intermediates: 12-14; Seniors: 15-18). Each test consists of 50 randomly selected questions and has a pass rate of 80% or better for certification.
Participants will have only one chance to take the test-out option. If youth fail, they will not be provided another opportunity to test out of that age level. Participants who do not pass will be prompted to take the instructor-led training or web-based training annually.
If the youth passes, payment for the completed test-out course will be required after the completion of the test. No payment is required to attempt the test. Test-out costs are:
- Intermediate: $36 ($12 x 3 years of certification)
- Senior: $48 ($12 x 4 years of certification).
If passed, youth will receive access to online modules that correspond with the age levels, found on the user's "My Library" page.
The deadline to complete the annual YQCA training or to test out of annual training is determined by local Extension offices. Please check your local county information to ensure that you meet the deadline for county fair exhibition.
4-H members who exhibit at the Nebraska State Fair will need to have their YQCA training requirements met by the date of entry for those respective shows.