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Spotlight on Youth for Feb. 22, 2006
Illinios 4-H/FFA quality assurance website now available
URBANA, Ill. — A website - - is available for 4-H and FFA members who require Quality Assurance and Ethics Clinic certification for the 2006 Illinois State Fair.

“The web certification will be the only approved method for 2006 and future years,” said Dave Seibert, University of Illinois Extension animal systems educator based in East Peoria. “The movement to the website was the result of requests by parents and participants. “Participants are required to only take the training once and for the State Fair this includes those exhibiting beef, dairy, horses, sheep and swine. Those who have previously taken the QAEC training are still maintained on the approved list and will not need to be recertified.”

Horse show exhibitors must complete certification prior to June 15 and for exhibitors in beef, sheep, swine, and dairy the deadline is July 1.

“Exhibitors taking the training should be aware that a web browser plug-in program called ‘Shockwave’ will need to be downloaded to make the site interactive,” Seibert said. “It is free and instructions on the QAEC website are provided on how to download the program.”

More information is available by calling Seibert at 309-694-7501, ext. 224.

Beef industry youth attend leadership conference
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Thirty-one youth from across the state of Ohio attended the inaugural Leading the BEST Conference on Jan. 14-16, in Columbus. The conference was coordinated by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Foun-dation and focused on education and leadership development in a social and interactive setting.

The conference was open to Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Beef Exhibitor Show Total (BEST) Participants between the ages of 11 and 21 and the conference was sponsored by Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition Group.

The conference began at the OSU Animal Science building with a pizza party and mixers followed by motivational speaker Abby Dougherty. Dougherty is a past National FFA officer. Dougherty challenged the group to increase their leadership skills and to set goals for themselves.

On Sunday morning, Tom Turner, OSU Animal Sciences assistant professor gave participants an introduction to live animal evaluation. Next, the group learned about carcass evaluation from OSU Meat Science professor Henry Zerby.

Sunday afternoon’s session started with a presentation on the Beef Checkoff by the Ohio Beef Council staff Elizabeth Harsh and Trent Fredenburg. Jenni Beck, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Manager Grassroot Communications, then spoke about industry issues and career opportunities in the beef industry. Amy Radunz, OSU Program Specialist of Livestock Youth Development, led the group through a course in Beef Quality Assurance. Sunday evening, a quiz bowl tournament concluded the evening.

The last day of the conference started with John Grimes, OSU Extension, who taught participants about properly caring for their projects. The wrap-up speaker of the Leading the BEST Conference, John Stika, vice president of business development for Certified Angus Beef, presented a discussion on brands and how they fit into the beef industry.

This farm news was published in the February 22, 2006 issue of Farm World.