FSQA Certification for Youth

Larry K. McMullen, Swine Field Specialist, Southeast Area

Problem Statement:

As a requirement for exhibiting food animal projects at county and state fairs, all 4-H and FFA youth must be FSQA (Food Safety and Quality Assurance) certified.  Therefore, any 4-H/FFA youth exhibiting beef, dairy cattle, bucket bottle calves, goats, sheep, swine, rabbits, and poultry are required to attend a training session or test out if they are to exhibit food animals.  Junior members are required to attend each year for three years.  Intermediates and senior members have an option to test out.  Because of this mandatory requirement, the need for county certification meetings exists to make sure youth are properly trained and certified.

Programmatic Response:

A power point presentation was prepared and activities were planned for the 2007 FSQA training sessions.  The training program consisted of background discussion on food safety, and the importance of the seven good production practices.  A detailed discussion and hands on activities were conducted with good production practices 5, 6, and 7 Adequate and Safe Feed, Bio-security and Animal Welfare, and Ethics.  A black light demonstration was used to illustrate how disease pathogens spread and the need for changing shoes and disinfecting equipment when returning from the fair.  Also the black light was used to explain why animals returning from the fair back to the home farm need to be isolated from contemporary animals.  A heavy emphasis was placed on the animal welfare/animal rights activists movement and how youth need to be cognizance of these groups while at the county or state fair.  Information about Iowa State University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Animal Science department was also presented for recruitment purposes. Certification programs were planned for Cedar, Scott, Johnson, Linn, Jackson, Jones, and Clinton counties.


Eighteen meetings in 7 counties were conducted. A total of 751 youth were certified and 157 adults also attended.  Numerous verbal comments from parents were expressed on the positive content in the program.  One parent even requested the program file.  One county director also used the PPT program in working with county fair superintendents.  The PPT program was available on the state 4-H web site for downloading and use in other counties.  The FSQA programs also provided eight Iowa State University recruitment contacts.  As a result of these training programs for FSQA certification 751 4-H/FFA members were now eligible to exhibit their livestock project at the local county fair as well as the Iowa State Fair.  Through the instruction in the FSQA training, 4-H/FFA members will be providing the consumer with a safe and nutritious food product from their respective livestock project.

156 Youth Programs


Page last updated: September 27, 2007
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu