Explore the sheep industry. Learn to raise and show purebred or crossbred yearling ewes, aged ewes or market lambs. Topics include budgeting, digestive systems, reproduction, genetics, lambing, ethics, marketing and careers.
Important project information:
State & regional events
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.
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. More than 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
Sheep Project resources
Beginning to learn about sheep:
- Sheep 1 - Lambs, Rams & You (40 pages) Find this in the 4-H Mall.
Some experience with this project:
- Sheep 2 - Shear Delight (40 pages)
Find this in the 4-H Mall.
Looking for a challenge:
- Sheep 3 - Leading the Flock (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 to 3 year terms to help plan and organize the State Fair 4-H Sheep Project experience. Members must have extensive sheep project and leadership experience. Applicants must be 9th grade or older, eligible for next year's 4-H, currently enrolled in sheep project, previously exhibited at MN State Fair and complete this application. Word version - PDF - fillable version Due November 15, 2014
Learning resources for all levels:
Project leader resources
- Sheep Safety & Quality Assurance Program Manual (American Sheep Industry Association)
- Sheep Production Handbook - Volume 7 - 2002 Edition (American Sheep Industry Association)
- The Ohio State University 4-H Sheep Resource Handbook (Ohio State University Media Distribution Bulletin)
- Sheep Crossword Puzzle (79 K PDF)
- Sheep Chart (306 K PDF) Best when printed at least 17" x 22"
Other online resources
4-H Youth record keeping
- Animal Science Project Interviews - Junior Level (26 K PDF)
- Animal Science Project Interviews - Senior Level(26 K PDF)
- Lamb lead evaluation sheet (125 K PDF)
- Wool fleece evaluation sheet (176 K PDF)
- General Livestock (Beef, Sheep, Swine) Judging Reasons (33 K PDF)
To get involved with the 4-H Sheep 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.