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Livestock Quality Assurance for Junior Fair exhibitors PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, March 14, 2013 12:39 PM

Extension Educator Paulding County
American consumers have become more health conscious about the food they eat. To meet consumer needs and concerns, livestock quality assurance programs are being implemented. These programs are designed to educate producers in management and production techniques that improve food quality and safety, encourage high industry standards and boost consumer confidence.

The youth quality assurance program introduces youth to the responsibilities associated with food animal production and teaches skills necessary to produce a safe and wholesome food. Interactive lessons on animal management techniques and practice in ethical decision-making related to food animal production are included. Program results indicate participants gain skills in animal management techniques and the youths’ opinions about consumer expectations have been positively influenced. Furthermore, the program provides a successful model for including character education with subject matter education.

When young producers begin a project where the final product is food, they also assume a legal and moral obligation to produce a quality, wholesome, and safe product for consumers. It is critical that young producers are consciously aware of these responsibilities and understand their implications. Only with such an understanding will they adopt practices and procedures that allow them to fulfill their obligations to consumers.

Because of a desire to instill this understanding in youth, quality assurance education has become a major focus for our fair livestock exhibitors. As youth learn to implement quality assurance practices, they will develop an awareness and skills that will affect their current projects. In addition, they will develop an appreciation for food safety and responsibility that will form the foundation for their future contributions as producers and consumers.

To educate our youth on the importance, value and promotion of a wholesome food product, two Paulding County Quality Assurance Programs have been scheduled. The first program is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. on March 21 and a second program will be held from 9-11 a.m. on March 2. Both programs will be held in the Extension building. Youth and their parent or guardian must attend a Quality Assurance program before they can exhibit their animal in a junior livestock show sponsored by the county agricultural society.

Remember, we are producing a product that demands quality and is safe for consumption.

 

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