Youth PQA Plus program continues to grow in Michigan, currently the state of Michigan ranks second in the number of youth currently enrolled in Youth Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus, with more than 5,000 youth involved in Youth PQA Plus, making up 17% of Youth participating in PQA Plus in the United States. In order to further develop the Michigan program, provide programming that helps build critical thinking skills in our youth and offer educational opportunities in swine production for youth, some additions to the program for 2012 have been made. New and renewing advisors are also needed for the 2012 program. Information on completing this training is found below.
New to the Youth PQA Plus program in Michigan for the 2012 programming year is the role of a Youth PQA Plus program coordinator. This position was created by Michigan State University Extension Agriculture and Agriculture Business Institute and the Michigan Pork Producers Association in order to help fill the demand for youth education in the pork industry. We are very pleased to announce that Kayla Green will be joining the Youth PQA Plus team as the program coordinator
The program coordinator role was designed to have three major responsibilities within Michigan’s PQA Plus program.
- To be first contact regarding program information, suggestions and issues for all advisors, youth and parents.
- Work to update educational information, along with providing materials and trainings for advisors to incorporate into their programming.
- Deliver programming for youth throughout the state on a limited basis.
The Youth PQA Plus program continues to be a successful program that offers educational programming for youth involved in pork production and promote good production practices for exhibition swine. For more information on how to be involved with the Youth PQA Plus program read the November 2011 Youth PQA Plus newsletter.
In order to become an Advisor for the Youth PQA Plus program you must contact your Youth PQA Plus State Trainer and submit your name for consideration. The State Trainer is then responsible for submitting the qualified candidate’s name and contact information to National Pork Board. They will also set up either an online or face-to-face training session for the candidate. In order to be considered as a candidate for the Youth PQA Plus program you must meet at least one of the following credentials:
- Certified veterinarian
- Extension personnel
- Secondary/post-secondary agriculture instructor
Once you have been identified as a possible Advisor for the Youth PQA Plus program your State Trainer will set up your training session. This may be provided via face-to-face with the State Trainer or through online modules supported by National Pork Board. Once you have completed your training, you will be required to take and pass an exam to gain your Youth PQA Plus Advisor certification. This exam can be taken up to three times before retraining is required.
If you are a current Youth PQA Plus advisor you are obligated to renew your certification every three years with the state trainer. This can also be completed via face-to-face training or through the online modules. In order to remain a certified advisor you will need to complete and pass the exam following the training.
If you have any questions or would like to become certified please contact the Youth PQA Plus program coordinator or state trainer. More news about Youth PQA Plus, including the program coordinator contact information can be found in the Youth PQA Plus newsletter.