You are strolling the aisles of the livestock barns at the Black Hawk County 4-H and FFA Fair…somewhere between the goats, pigs, and poultry you start to wonder how 4-H members learned to raise livestock. I would like to say, “4-H taught them!” but that would be a very egocentric statement.
4-H may have provided a foundation for their passion, but their interests were supported by parents, siblings, their community and so many more. One thing we can credit 4-H with though is education the 4-H’er received in relation to keeping their livestock healthy.
FSQA is an acronym for Food Safety and Quality Assurance. 4-H members exhibiting meat production livestock are required to become FSQA certified annually. FSQA trainings are held in the spring throughout Region 9 for 4-H members.
Topics covered include record keeping, maintaining a Vet-Client-Patient Relationship, Healthy Production Practices, Feed, and Animal Care and Handling. Themes throughout the training include Biosecurity and Ethics. Through these topics, 4-H members learn to care for their animals and to follow animal production regulations.
According to Iowa 4-H Youth Development, over 15,000 Iowa 4-H’ers participate in livestock projects annually. These livestock production projects produce approximately 17,000,000 pounds of meat each year. We are proud of our 4-H’ers production efforts!
The last FSQA training for Region 9 is April 22nd at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo. For more information, please contact the 4-H Staff at the Black Hawk County Extension and Outreach Office.