Explore the dairy industry, from raising a cow to dairy science and ethics to manufacturing and marketing dairy products. Topics include dairy cattle breeds, nutrition, feeding, identify parts of dairy cattle, desirable traits, stages of calving and care, and grooming and showing. Cows may be owned or leased.
Important project information:
- 4-H Dairy Judging Coaches Update - information on the March 6th webinar for dairy judging coaches and potential coaches
- AnSci Updates for 2017 - posted January 6, 2017
- Animal science ID requirements and processes (ID worksheets, forms, etc.)
- Dairy information sheet - posted January 3, 2017, updated January 13, 2017
- Animal science projects lease fact sheet
- Animal science show requirements sheet for all species - posted January 3, 2017
- Animal science 4-H premise ID information
- Cloverbud information sheet
- 2017 National Dairy Conference Application Form (DOC)
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.
This event recognized overall achievement of Minnesota 4-H Dairy Project exhibitors that have demonstrated year-round participation within 4-H and the dairy industry including:
- success with the animal
- knowledge of the dairy project and industry
- involvement within 4-H and dairy communities
- activities in school, church and community
- More info
200 youth from 4-H dairy projects around the U.S. and Canada gather in Madison, Wisconsin for the National 4-H Dairy Conference held annually in conjunction with World Dairy Expo. Participants learn about production, processing, marketing and use of dairy products, and develop a broader understanding of careers available in dairy production, biotechnology, genetics, marketing and other areas. The conference consists of participatory workshops on the University of Wisconsin campus, speakers, tours and visits to the World Dairy Expo. 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 bowls advance to the State Project 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 dairy parts, breeds, cost of raising cattle, how to care for your dairy animals and more.
- Dairy Cattle 1 - Cowabunga! (40 pages) Find this in the 4-H Mall.
Level 2 Learning Goals:
Explore Dairy judging, identification, ethics, animal health, management practices and more.
- Dairy Cattle 2 - Mooving Ahead (40 pages) Find this in the 4-H Mall.
Level 3 Learning Goals:
Gain an understanding of selection and management of dairy, reproduction, breeding, marketing, careers and more.
- Dairy Cattle 3 - Rising to the Top (40 pages) Find this in the 4-H Mall.
Learning resources for all levels:
- Learning About Dairy Resource Manual
- Project Brief: Dairy
- Learning About Dairy (Revised November 2015) (project bowl resource)
- Character Connection: Dairy
- Skill-a-thon: What's that Cheese?
- 4-H Business Startup Guide: Working Animals
Other online resources
- Dairy Cattle - Helper's Guide (40 pages) Find this in the 4-H Mall.
- Dairy Cattle - Set of Four (40 pages each) Find this in the 4-H Mall.
- Dairy Foods Fun Book
- I'm a 4-H Project Leader. Now What Do I Do?
- Hoard's Dairyman: the national dairy farm magazine
- 4-H dairy cattle online activities
- Pattern for Realistic Cloth Model Calf Directions (PDF) and Pattern (PDF)
- MooMilk look at the dairy industry
- Hoards Dairyman Youth Corner
- Hoard's Dairy Facts (PDF)
- Dairy Cow Unified Score sheet (PDF)
- Feeding the Dairy Herd
- Dairy Cattle Judging Made Easy - Interactive CD
- Hoard's Showmanship "Clearing Up The Confusion" article 2015
- National 4-H Dairy Conference Application
- Lifetime Dairy Record
- Virtual Farm
- My American Farm
- I.D. Tag Rules - New coming soon
- Current year: Dairy Genetic Information for Calves and Yearlings - available summer months
- Current year: Dairy Production and Genetic Information for Cows - available summer months
- National Dairy Production Averages 2016
- Dairy Judging Coaches Letter 2016
- Dairy Medallion Find this in the 4-H Mall.
- Practical Techniques for Dairy Farmers - BU-06414 (3rd Edition)
Available from Tony Seykora at 1-612-624-3448
To get involved with the 4-H Dairy 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.