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.
YQCA is not meant to replace the efforts of states and organizations that wish to continue their own youth quality assurance efforts. For states and organizations that find that the cost of maintaining their own program is prohibitive or the burden of keeping the content up to date with industry standards and government regulation and delivered in an engaging and on-demand platform, YQCA offers a ready-made alternative. YQCA will continue development of the base curriculum through 2018. At that time a regular schedule of curriculum revision will be maintained under the direction of the YQCA Board of Directors.