As school responsibilities wrap up and summer break begins, youth now have more time for livestock projects and hands-on learning.
Through University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, Georgia 4-H offers educational opportunities in programs that challenge youth with real-life issues as they learn responsibility through raising, showing and evaluating livestock. These projects provide students the opportunity to practice and acquire new knowledge in the fields of animal science, business, time management and leadership.
With many extra-curricular activities sidelined, youth have more time for livestock-related tasks like showmanship practice, developing their record book and fine-tuning their animal show entries.
While social distancing, youth have been introduced to a new way of virtual learning. To ensure that dedication and enthusiasm continue to grow for livestock programs, Georgia 4-H has begun offering instruction online as well as providing various resources, which include:
- Dairy farm tour videos: origin.americandairy.com/news-and-events/dairy-diary/dairy-farming/virtual-farm-tours-while-youre-stuck-at-home.stml
- Horse judging from home videos by Middle Tennessee State University and University of Tennessee Extension: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEJjxuN56N4&list=PLNXP12SwUle1PuvPAfKXOHqIXeBqM0g1r
- Basic horse riding exercises video by Louisiana State University Extension: www.youtube.com/watch?v=R05rTHKmhAc
- UGA Extension Bulletin 1234, “Dairy Judging Terminology: A Guide to Saying What She is and Not What She Isn’t”: t.uga.edu/61E
- UGA Extension Bulletin 1401, “Evaluating Common Equine Performance Classes”: t.uga.edu/61F
- UGA Extension Bulletin 1427, “Is Your Heifer Fit to Show? A Guide to Fitting and Showing Dairy Animals”: t.uga.edu/61G
A list of more online resources is available at georgia4h.org/about-us/resources/activity-resources/#livestock.
Georgia 4-H is also continuing with statewide contests by adapting them into virtual competitions. These events allow youth to continue to challenge their knowledge, receive recognition for their accomplishments and learn life and leadership skills.
State virtual horse show educational contests and a state virtual livestock judging contest will be held for 4-H members in grades 4 through 12, who can register and get more details by contacting 4-H staff at their local Extension office. The deadline to register online for livestock judging is June 10 and the online deadline for entering the horse contests is June 15. Youth can prepare by reviewing the additional information available in the Georgia 4-H State Horse Show Rules and Regulations and the Georgia 4-H Livestock Judging Educational Resources.
For more information on these contests, please contact Georgia 4-H Livestock Extension Specialist Heather Shultz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to state contests, various counties and districts have created opportunities for youth to demonstrate their learned skills within their peer groups. Details can be obtained by emailing or calling staff at UGA Extension offices. Find local contact information at extension.uga.edu/county-offices.
To learn more about the Georgia 4-H Livestock Program, visit georgia4h.org/livestock.
Georgia 4-H empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships and community awareness. As the largest youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 242,000 people annually through the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information, visit georgia4h.org.