As we near the holidays, we approach the critical sign-up point for youth interested in participating in livestock and horse projects and events this year.
Youth who wish to show, judge or compete in any livestock or horse event next spring or summer, must accumulate their required educational hours beforehand. Now is the time to be earning those hours.
All youth who wish to:
- show a market or breeding livestock animal
- show a horse or compete in the state livestock, meats, dairy or horse judging,
- compete in the state Skillathon, horse bowl, or Hippology contests must complete six hours of certified volunteer leader-led instruction before they may KUIP tag an animal, enter a breeding animal in the Kentucky State Fair, declare their project horse, or compete at the regional or state level in any 4-H livestock- or horse-related event.
This also is a requirement for youth wishing to enter a market animal in the next Boyle County 4-H/FFA Investment in Youth Sale.
If a young person wishes to show a horse at the state or district level, he/she must have the six hours completed before May 6.
Any youth wishing to tag a steer or market heifer before the March 31 deadline must have completed those six hours of instruction before they may tag.
Youth wishing to show a market hog, sheep, or goat must have their hours completed before the May 18 tagging deadline.
Youth who plan to exhibit livestock breeding animals of any species (including dairy) must have their hours completed by June 1.
Youth who want to compete in any of the judging or Skillathon contests, the Hippology contest or horse bowl, or the state horse contests must have their hours completed prior to the date of the contest. Dates of state contests we currently know are:
- State Livestock Skillathon Contest, Feb. 16,
- State Livestock Judging Contest, June 18
- State Dairy Judging Contest, June 25
The State Horse Contests and Judging Contest are usually the first week or two of June. State Meats Judging usually is in mid-May.
The purpose of the volunteer certification program is to focus youth clubs and projects on education, rather than competition.
Boyle County currently has 11 livestock and horse leaders who have received their certifications in the program. These volunteers are responsible for conducting all the 4-H livestock and horse curriculum-based training for youth in all our livestock and horse projects.
The curricula include lesson plans on anatomy, breeds, feeds and nutrition, animal breeding and genetics, reproductive physiology, health care, ethics, and many other basic livestock and horse subjects. Each lesson plan includes activities appropriate for youth ranging from 9 to 18 years of age.
For more information on 4-H livestock and horse projects and events, please friend us on Facebook (Boyle Cty Extension), visit our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/#!/boyle.extension), follow us on Twitter (@BoyleCtyExtensi), visit our website (ces.ca.uky.edu/boyle/4HYouthDevelopment), call us at (859) 236-4484 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kim Ragland is Boyle County extension agent for 4-H youth development.