Curriculum teaches youth to raise quality swine, beef and dairy cattle, sheep, goats, dairy goats, rabbits, and poultry


In 2013, the National Pork Board discovered some youth held misconceptions about how to raise market animals. And although several states had quality assurance programs, there was a need to also teach youth to think about consumers’ perspectives and to standardize quality assurance programs nationwide.

Response/What’s Been Done

In spring 2017, the National Pork Board, livestock industry representatives and Extension specialists from nine states, including Nevada, implemented the Youth for the Quality Care of Animals Program to create a national quality assurance curriculum. The program, offered both online and face-to-face, teaches youth ages 8-21 who raise market animals how to ensure the animals will be wholesome, safe and healthy for consumers. It focuses on animal wellbeing, food safety and life skills. There are lessons for four age groups: junior, intermediate, senior and young adult. 

Results/Impact and Partners

Extension Educator Lindsay Chichester, working for University of Nebraska Extension at the time, was one of the board members who worked on the project. Chichester, now Carson City Extension Educator, has continued her work on the project since joining University of Nevada Cooperative Extension in January 2016. Since the program has been offered:

  • 5,566 youth across 28 states have been certified through the program 
  • 39 Nevada youth have been certified
  • Nevada 4-H is contracting to exclusively use the curriculum in all future youth livestock programming 

Partners include the National Pork Board, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Corn Growers, American Sheep Industry Association, University of Missouri Extension, stock shows across the nation, youth livestock programs, and other livestock and grain commodity groups.

News Articles, Fact Sheets, Reports...
Animal Care
Animal well being, animal care, animal welfare, animal husbandry, animal rights. What's the difference.
L. Chichester & K. Dam 2022, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, FS-18-09
Animal Care: Tips for communicating with the public
Youth livestock exhibitors should be aware that the public will develop opinions about production agriculture based on what they see, hear and perceive at livestock shows, fairs and exhibitions.
Chichester, L. & Dam, K. 2018, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-18-09

Learn more about the program's team

Lindsay Chichester
Program Leader & Contact