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Skills learned in raising beef cattle prepare you for many things you’ll need in the future: responsibility, ethics, and hard work.  You’ll also have fun while you learn to produce a safe food product.

CLICK HERE to download the Spark Sheet.

Project Levels

Beginner Level

  • learn about breeds of beef cattle
  • identify symptoms of sick cattle
  • halter break a calf
  • fit a steer

Intermediate Level

  • learn about cattle feeds and how they are digested
  • judge beef cattle and present oral reasons
  • identify livestock safety hazards

Advanced Level

  • calculate yield grade for a beef animal
  • evaluate beef carcasses
  • learn how to read and use sire summaries
  •  interview people in agriculture careers

Resources to help you learn

  • Bite into Beef: Suggested for Beginner Level
  • Here's the Beef: Suggested for Intermediate Level
  • Leading the Charge: Suggested for Advanced Level
  • Beef Helper's GuideHelper's Guide for Beef 1–3. This guide is designed for those leader's assisting with the Beef projects 1-3. The guide includes suggested activities, resources and other items to assist you in helping your 4-Her with their projects.

Scroll down to Resources for the 2021 Livestock Ownership Deadlines.

Online training REQUIRED for all beef project members

Members enrolled in dairy and beef cattle, swine, sheep, and goats must take the Youth for the Quality Care of Animals certification annually. 

State Fair Exhibit Rules

Each county may submit 2 entries total from 50135 and 1 entry from 50137.

Animal Science (SF 50135)

Prepare a display focusing on any activity related to the animal science project. Demonstrate the skills and knowledge you have gained through the animal project you studied.  The exhibit may include, but isn’t limited to, original works, objects, demonstrations, digital presentations, programs, websites, games, apps, performances, or posters which you have made. Choose whatever method best shows what you’ve learned. You must furnish any equipment you need for your exhibit. Internet service will not be provided for the exhibit. All exhibits must include something visual, such as a printed copy of a digital presentation, which will remain on display during the exhibition. Electronic equipment will only be used during your personal judging time and will not remain on display during the entire exhibit period. Live animals are not permitted as exhibits in this area. For safety reasons, exhibits cannot include glass, syringes with needles or any other sharp objects.

Animal Science Ready4Life Challenge (SF 50137)

Exhibits in this category must include the following: a) a physical representation of the career or business product such as a model, prototype or display/portfolio that includes images of accomplished work; b) verbal or written explanations that demonstrate knowledge of the related career or business fields, potential careers, and the appropriate requirements for achievement in those fields. The judging criteria for this class values thoroughness of career and/or business exploration and pursuit above the workmanship of the physical specimen on display.

Beef Maker (SF 50400)

Counties may submit 3 entries TOTAL combined from all Maker exhibit divisions.

Exhibits in this category are designed to be multi-disciplinary in nature, innovative, and must not fit into any other exhibit category. To qualify for this category, your project MUST abide by the following guidelines:

  • Exhibits must be an object or device that has an intended purpose and uses technology in either a mechanical way, digital (computer) way, or combination of the two.
  • The device must be something that can be used in everyday life by multiple people (a target audience), and MUST be manufactured/built by the exhibitor (If not fully manufactured by the exhibitor, the device MUST be modified structurally or be reprogramed to perform a different function other than what it was designed to do
  • Exhibit MUST be able to interact with the outside world. (e.g. an on off switch, input sensors, feedback, etc.)
  • Exhibits MUST include a detailed build log with instructions on how to make or build the exhibit, AND contain either a 3D rendering or detailed and labeled sketches of the device/product.
  • All parts and software used in the design/build MUST be listed in a detailed Bill of Materials including cost per item and total cost. Total time spent on the build must be documented in your build log.

In addition, exhibitors are HIGHLY encouraged to use tools such as 3-D printers, laser cutters, routers and/or other hand/power tools to help in the manufacturing process (NOTE: Simply 3-D printing or laser cutting an object without the other specifications does not qualify as a Maker Project). It is also HIGHLY encouraged that exhibits use Open Source Software and/or Hardware in the build.