Arkansas Dairy Youth Program
Youth involved in the Arkansas Dairy Youth Program learn many important life skills
as they increase their knowledge of dairy farming and the dairy industry. They participate
in various educational activities including dairy cattle judging, dairy quiz bowl
contests, dairy skillathons, demonstrations, competitive speaking contests and dairy
camps. Also, let’s not forget the traditional junior dairy cattle shows and showmanship
contests at the county, district and state fairs, plus regional and national shows.
Grassland Evaluation Contest
The goal of the program is to teach decision making skills to 4-H and other youth
in grassland resource management. The objective is to develop a 4-H contest that
integrates the subjects of pastures, livestock, soils, wildlife, and plant identification
to teach students an overall awareness of proper grassland management. This program
is based on a classroom curriculum that can be taught in sections. The program includes
a contest in which students are challenged to put their curriculum training into practice.
Five district horse shows and a state horse show are conducted each year. Forty-two
4-H members and their horses compete in the Southern Regional 4-H Horse Championships
along with a horse judging team and four public speakers. An Arkansas 4-H Horse Conference
is conducted in March for 4-H youth, volunteer leaders, parents and county faculty
on horse health, training, nutrition, selection and safety. Specialist works with
county agents in conducting county programs on horse care and training.
Livestock judging is a process of evaluating, selecting, placing, and learning the
various livestock species–beef cattle, sheep, and swine. Judging is the foundation
of any 4-H livestock project.
Participants will learn about different breeds of livestock, external parts of livestock,
skeletal anatomy of livestock, feedstuffs used in livestock diets, equipment using
in raising and showing livestock, wholesale and retail cuts of meat derived from livestock,
expected progeny differences (EPDs), common calculations used to measure animal performance
and profitability, and judging meats.
Many youth in Arkansas are involved in 4H poultry projects or poultry showmanship.
Poultry youth activities continue to increase as more and more youth become interested
in keeping and exhibiting poultry. Extension personnel conduct workshops for 4H and
youth interested in poultry selection, judging, and showmanship.
The rabbit is an excellent small livestock project for 4H. Arkansas country agents
and extension specialists are available to provide information regarding the husbandry,
care, and diseases of rabbits.
Sheep & Goats
Sheep & Goats Youth care for live animals while learning about animal health and nutrition,
breeding, selection and marketing. In either the 4-H Sheep or Goat projects individuals
learn decision making, record keeping, responsibility, sportsmanship and leadership.
They may participate in market projects, breeding projects and non-competitive projects.
Youth Swine Projects
Participants learn proper methods of selecting, feeding, raising, breeding and marketing
swine. Either market or breeding animals can be raised.
Veterinary Science Project
The 4-H Veterinary Science Project is a 5-year curriculum based project with 100 lessons
and 50 activities that gives youth interested in veterinary medicine opportunities
to work in the field. The project is career-oriented and job-training so students
can determine if this is a field they would like to pursue.