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2009 Meat Quality Assurance certification/recertification workshops for 4-H, FFA members

By Eldon Fisher
CSU Extension Area Agent, Youth

Public confidence in our meat products is extremely important to the success of the livestock industry. Youth livestock projects play an important role in building or losing the trust of our consumers. It is important that youth livestock exhibitors exceed the standard in producing quality, defect free livestock for our consumers. In the past, a very small number of exhibitors have given youth livestock shows a bad name by using unethical and unsafe techniques to "win at all cost." As a result, we have implemented a strong Meat Quality Assurance program in Colorado. Through the MQA workshops youth learn ethics and good production practices needed to produce a high quality, desirable product for the American consumer. If you need to attend this year you will be notified by your county Extension office prior to the workshop. Following is a schedule of workshops in the area.

You must attend a MQA Workshop:

1. First 2 years taking a livestock project;

2. Once at 12 years of age;

3. Once at 15 years of age.

You have the option to test out of the workshop at 12 and 15 years of age but it is highly recommended to attend a workshop instead. The workshops allow for hands on learning and experience. For those of you that participated last year, it will be the same layout. There will be different stations pertaining to the 10 Good Production Practices set up at each location and you will have the chance to observe and learn with real supplies and equipment. You will have the opportunity to come any time during the listed period as long as you are able to participate at each station. Allow yourself one hour. The following chart explains when and where the workshops will be. Keep in mind that dates and/or times are subject to change, so stay posted and be sure to call your local Extension office if you have any questions.

Northeast Colorado MQA Dates and Locations:

April 2, Phillips County, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Phillips County Extension Office, Holyoke;

April 3, Washington County, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Wash County Events Center, Akron;

April 7, Kit Carson County, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Burlington Education Center, Burlington;

April 9, Logan County, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., De Soto Building, Sterling;

April 19, Sedgwick County, 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Sedgwick County Extension Office, Julesburg;

April 20, Lincoln County, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Lincoln County Fairgrounds, Hugo;

April 21, Morgan County, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Morgan County Fairgrounds, Brush;

May 12, Morgan County, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Morgan County Fairgrounds, Brush;

May 18, Kit Carson County, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Hi Plains School, Seibert;

May 19, Weld County, 6:30 p.m., Island Grove Park, Greeley;

May 28, Yuma County, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Schaffner Auction Barn, Wray;

June 4, Yuma County, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Yuma Community Center, Yuma.

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