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Want to learn what the judge is really looking for?
4-H animal evaluation allows young people to explore animal science by learning to evaluate livestock project animals such as beef cattle, sheep and swine. Participants learn to select both market and breeding animals based on breed character, production factors, structure and carcass desirability, as well as learn about marketing and careers in the livestock industry. As youth gain knowledge about animal differences and learn to evaluate and select livestock, they also increase their public speaking skills by preparing and delivering a logical and coherent set of oral reasons to the contest judge.
Youth can participate in two different animal evaluation areas:
- 4-H Livestock Judging – Youth evaluate live sheep, swine and beef cattle. Local events are held in various counties and a statewide contest, the Michigan 4-H Livestock Judging Contest, is held in July in conjunction with the Michigan Livestock Expo. Youth who take part in the statewide contest have the opportunity to participate on the Michigan 4-H Livestock Judging National Teams, which compete at various competitions throughout the country. Support for these teams is provided by generous sponsors - thank you for your contributions to the program.
- 4-H Meats Judging – Youth evaluate the meat carcasses of sheep, swine and beef cattle. Local events are held in various counties and a statewide contest, the Michigan 4-H Meats Judging Contest/FFA Meats Evaluation & Technology Career Development Event, is held in May of each year in partnership with Michigan FFA.
Livestock management is a part of Michigan’s important agricultural industry, which is vital to the state’s economy and future prosperity. Participating in 4-H livestock projects, such as animal evaluation, could set you on the path to an excellent career in agriculture.
For more information on how to get involved as a youth or volunteer, contact your county MSU Extension office.
Department of Animal Science