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NCLCA Principles of Livestock Selection & Evaluation Certification

The National Collegiate Livestock Coaches’ Association (NCLCA) Principles of Livestock Selection & Evaluation Certification verifies individuals have acquired the 
specialized skills necessary to excel in the livestock industry.

Meeting the Industry Need

The certification assesses industry-valued and industry-recognized standards produced by NCLCA, an organization known for providing individuals with applicable knowledge of the livestock industry and honing important employability skills such as communication, character and leadership, with the goal of making students more marketable to potential employers.

The certification validates the foundational competencies needed to begin animal science careers, specifically those related to the selection and evaluation of breeding and market animals. Those who earn the certification are more qualified and prepared to enter a variety of roles within the industry. Additionally, the certification allows employers to identify and connect with more skilled candidates, filling gaps in the labor market and jump-starting individuals’ careers.


Discover job opportunities aligned with the skills acquired through this certification.

The need for qualified workers within the agriculture industry is evident and exists at all levels. According to Miranda Driver of CalAgJobs, an organization that works to connect farm businesses with employees, there are two jobs available in agriculture for every new job seeker. In some states, there are four jobs open for every applicant.

Related Occupations

  • Livestock Grader
  • Livestock Judging Coach
  • Livestock Industries Program Coordinator

Industry Standards

The certification exam consists of 100 questions and assesses knowledge and concepts from the following weighted industry standards:


Breed Identification
  • Cattle
  • Goat
  • Sheep
  • Swine



External Anatomy
  • Terms & Terminology
  • External Components of Livestock
  • External Anatomy Identification



Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) & Breeding Systems
  • Parent Selection
  • Types of Breeding Systems
  • Crossbreeding Methods
  • Mating Systems



Selection & Evaluation Criteria
  • Cattle
  • Goat
  • Sheep
  • Swine



Optional Cert Prep


Optional Certification Preparation Materials

The iCEV online curriculum platform offers a variety of preparatory content and resources designed to prepare individuals to earn industry certifications.

Featured Support Letters

View letters from businesses and organizations expressing their support of the certification.

About the National Collegiate Livestock Coaches' Association

The National Collegiate Livestock Coaches’ Association provides unique opportunities to develop student knowledge of the livestock industry through educational settings beyond traditional classrooms. The association is comprised of coaches from various universities throughout the United States.

"’s extremely critical that we continue to develop competent agricultural career-ready students, both coming straight out of high school and at the college level."

Ryan Rathmann, Ph.D.
National Collegiate Livestock Coaches' Association

Interested in Verifying a Candidate’s Certification?

 If you’re an employer looking to verify a job applicant’s credentials, click the button below to be taken to a verification form. 

If you do not have a certification number, please contact our customer support team to verify your candidate at: or 1-800-922-9965.

Verify My Candidate

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