Explore the beef industry. Learn about breeds, health, feed, behavior, judging and showing a calf, ethical issues, reproduction, marketing, careers and more. Your animal may be purebred, grade or crossbred; heifer, steer or cow-calf.
Important project information:
Market beef and dairy steer ID deadline is February 15, 2017. More information can be found on the animal science ID page.
- AnSci Updates for 2017 - posted January 6, 2017
- Animal science ID requirements and processes (ID worksheets, forms, etc.)
- Beef information sheet- updated - posted May 8, 2017 to reflect change in Limousin percentage
- Animal science show requirements sheet for all species - posted January 3, 2017
- Animal science projects lease fact sheet
- Animal science 4-H premise ID information
- Cloverbud information sheet
- AKSARBEN update for beef - posted March 24, 2016
- Slick-shorn division information sheet - posted January 3, 2017
To view county or local club events, visit the county website.
All youth participating as a State Fair 4-H livestock exhibitor in beef, dairy, sheep, swine, poultry, rabbit, meat and dairy goat, and lama must have completed the Livestock Quality Assurance and Ethics workshop. Certification is good for three fair seasons. The level of training required is determined by the grade of the youth at the time the training takes place.
- Dates and locations vary by county. Check this list for more information.
Science of Animals at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair is designed to expose 4-H animals project youth to the many dimensions of the industry. 4-H youth will attend and participate in an educational session prior to the judging. Science of Animals is offered in one of 4 topic areas – Animal Health, Breeding, Production and Other, for all livestock species – Beef, Dairy, Dairy Goat, Meat Goat, Poultry, Rabbit, Sheep and Swine More info.
Project Bowls are an exciting way for youth to explore a project area. Teams compete in quiz competitions with questions about specific project areas. Project Bowls are available for Dairy, Dog, General Livestock (Beef, Sheep & Swine), Horse, Poultry, Rabbit and Wildlife projects. Winners of the Regional Project Bowls advance to the State Bowl. More info
Effectively evaluating breeding and market animals is highly important in the animal industry. Judging is an art developed through patient study and long practice. 4-Hers interested in Dairy, General Livestock (Beef, Sheep & Swine), Horses, Poultry, and Rabbits can learn to be a good judge by knowing the parts of the animal and their location, which parts are most important for meat and breeding stock production, making keen observations and comparing to the ideal, weighing the good and bad points of each animal, and much more. More info
- Check with your county for local county judging contests.
- State Fair contest details in the State Fair Premium Book - Minnesota State Fairgrounds, St. Paul
4-H plays a pivotal role in youth development and public education at the Minnesota State Fair. Over 7,000 4-H youth have the opportunity to interact with the public and educate fairgoers through 4-H exhibits, demonstrations, performances, and 4-H promotion. More Info
Level 1 Learning Goals:
Learn about beef breeds, the parts of a beef animal, the skills needed to show beef, develop an understanding of beef quality assurance and more.
- Beef 1 - Bite into Beef (40 pages) Find this in the 4-H Mall.
Level 2 Learning Goals:
Explore the nutritional needs and digestive system of beef animals, understand the basics of judging beef, grading beef meat and more.
- Beef 2 - Here's the Beef (40 pages) Find this in the 4-H Mall.
Level 3 Learning Goals:
Expand your understanding of animal nutrition and health, fitting a beef animal for show, meat evaluation and more.
- Beef 3 - Leading the Charge (40 pages) Find this in the 4-H Mall.
Other learning opportunities:
- Be a youth livestock committee member. 3 youth project members will be selected for 1 year terms to help plan and organize the State Fair 4-H Beef Project experience. Members must have extensive beef project and leadership experience. Applicants must be 9th grade or older, eligible for next year's 4-H, currently enrolled in beef project, previously exhibited at MN State Fair and complete this application. Word version - PDF - fillable version Due February 18, 2016
Learning resources for all levels:
- Calf Pattern (40 pages) Find this in the 4-H Mall.
- Animal Science Project Interviews - Junior Level (PDF)
- Animal Science Project Interviews - Senior Level (PDF)
Other online resources
Project leader resources
To get involved with the 4-H Beef Project, contact your county 4-H office.
All resources on this page have been reviewed by our faculty and included for their educational value. No endorsement is intended or implied. Minnesota 4-H does not profit from the inclusion of any commercial project resources.