Useful questions for youth animal show and fair judges

Great questions that can be used by judges to help youth explore the life skills within their 4-H project or any showing experiences.

The following list of questions can be used by judges with youth to help pull out life skills within their 4-H animal project experiences! The questions are broken out by project area, but could be easily adapted between areas. It is also a broad enough list of questions to hit on each of the life skills listed in the Iowa State Targeting Life Skills Model.

Animal Projects

  • What is one thing you did new this year that was successful?
  • What is one thing you plan to do different next year? Why?


  • How do you define sportsmanship?
  • What makes you feel confident/how do you display confidence in the show ring?
  • When your animal is not cooperating, what do you do to maintain your composure?
  • If you knew another member in your club was cheating, how would you respond?


  • Which animal in this class would you place at the top? Why?
  • What is your breakeven price for this animal?
  • What skills did you gain during your marketing campaign?
  • When you selected your market animal, what factors did you consider?


  • What goals did you set this year for you and your animal?
  • What responsibilities do you have that your friends do not?
  • Describe how your project has helped you develop leadership.
  • Why is community service learning important in this project?

Record books

  • Why is it important to keep good records?
  • What steps did you take to ensure a healthy animal? Why is that important?

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