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Second Annual Youth Swine Education Day Set for February 7, 2009

Livestock Update, January 2009

Cindy Wood, Ph.D., Animal & Poultry Sciences, VA Tech

The 2nd annual Youth Swine Education Day has been scheduled for Saturday, February 7, 2009 on the Virginia Tech campus. Sponsored by the Animal and Poultry Sciences Department, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and the Virginia Pork Industry Board, the program combines education, fun and the chance to interact with others interested in pigs with the opportunity to become PQA-Plus certified.

The program will be held at the Alphin-Stuart Livestock Teaching Arena, located on Plantation Road in Blacksburg. Registration begins at 9:00 AM and the morning program will start at 9:30 with a welcome from Dr. Dave Gerrard, the new APSC department head. A general session on youth swine project care, pork carcass evaluation, and showmanship is open to all participants. A special breakout session to familiarize youth just starting in 4-H on how a stockmanís contest works will be offered during the general information session.

Following a short break at 10:50 AM, youth and adults can test their swine knowledge and skills in a swine-only stockmanís contest. Results from the contest will be reviewed during lunch following the conclusion of the contest. Lunch is provided by the Block and Bridle Club and the Swine Club, and is included in the registration fee of $5.00 per attendee.

Following lunch, youth will attend Youth PQA-Plus sessions designed to certify beginners, intermediates and seniors (based on 4-H age groups). According to the rules governing the program, youth must recertify annually, so everyone attending the youth day last year are due to recertify. More and more shows are requiring such certification as many packers require producers to be PQA-Plus certified. Adults may sit in on one of these sessions, participate in an adult Q/A session, or attend a PQA-Plus workshop to become certified on the adult PQA-Plus program. Certification on the adult program is good for three years.

The day will wrap up about 3:30 PM with awards for the stockmanís contest.

Registration brochures are available from local Cooperative Extension offices or from Dr. Cindy Wood (540-231-6937; Questions about the program should be addressed to Dr. Wood.

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