Tama Co. 4-H travels to ISU for YQCA training

Members of Tama County 4-H pictured during the April 6 field trip to Iowa State University for YQCA training. PHOTO BY JENNY HULME

In today’s world, food safety is one of animal producers’ biggest responsibilities.

With over 15,000 Iowa 4-H’ers enrolled in livestock projects, about 17 million pounds of

meat is produced each year. 4-H members who exhibit swine, beef, sheep, dairy,

poultry, rabbit and goat at the Tama County and Iowa State Fair are required to

complete a yearly training called YQCA (Youth for the Quality Care of Animals). The

goal of this program is to help youth and their families learn techniques to produce the

safest food possible.

Members in Tama County can complete the YQCA training online or attend an hour meeting. Or they can get on a chartered bus and complete the training while traveling to Iowa State University to learn even more. And that is what six Tama County 4-H members did on April 6. They joined 4-H members from Marshall, Grundy and Hardin Counties.

At Iowa State University they visited the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. During their visit, the 4-H’ers prepared parasitology samples for viewing and identification. They also used models in the Veterinary Field Services Clinical Skills Lab to practice the techniques of giving a shot to a calf.

The bus continued onto the meat lab where the members learned about the different ways ham is processed and taste tested different hams. ISU Animal Science guides led the students in a game of Jeopardy, learning about different agriculture occupations. They also answered questions about life at ISU.

Finally, the bus ended at the ISU dairy farm in which the youth divided into groups to complete Colostrum and Mastitis testing, learning about total mixed rations, competing in a dairy quiz bowl, and having a tour of the farm.

The Iowa 4-H Youth Development Program provides opportunities for youth to develop skills that they can use now and throughout their lives. Iowa 4-H builds upon a century of experience as it fosters positive youth development that is based on the needs and strengths of youth, their families, and communities.

For more information, contact the Tama County Extension and Outreach Office at jhulme@iastate.edu or 641-484-2703. Check out the website for upcoming summer events and camps https://www.extension.iastate.edu/tama/youth-programs.