In the dairy project, 4-H’ers will learn how to ethically care for and show dairy animals including feeding, reproduction, and veterinary care. Members will also study the industry as it relates to marketing, processing, and the consumption of dairy products.
Show Your Skills
- 4-H club talk or demonstration
- Exhibit cattle at county, state or national shows
- Animal science display at 4-H non-livestock shows
- Public presentations - dairy industry topic
Service and Leadership
- Dairy product promotion at a farm, food pantry, grocery store, restaurant or farmers market
- Donate dairy products to a food pantry or serve dairy samples at a community event
- Volunteer at a dairy show; assist with running and caring for the milk house at a county or state fair
- Teach a county or multi-county workshop about dairy cattle or dairy foods
- Teach younger members how to clip and show their dairy animals
- Participate on a food to table, dairy or farm breakfast committee; volunteer for the event
- Teach younger members how to judge dairy cattle and how to give reasons
- Custom Hire – relief milking, feeding calves, baling hay, etc.
- Custom Fitter – clipping and washing dairy animals
- Dairy Farmer – build a herd; market your product
- Use of drones for herd management
- Apps for managing herd data
- Precision technology for dairy operations
- Connecting with a Mentor
- Contact a local dairy farmer
- Visit with breed organization representatives
- Contact the University of Illinois Department of Animal Science or a local community college
- Connect with dairy associations
- Illinois 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl; 4-H Dairy Judging Contest; Dairy Superior Young Producers Scholarship Contest
- National 4-H Dairy Conference
- Illinois State Fair Junior Dairy Show
- World Dairy Expo
- Breed Organization Junior Activities and Shows
- YQCA – Youth for the Quality Care of Animals
Project Manuals & Exhibit Requirements
- LEVEL 1: Cowabunga!
- LEVEL 2: Mooving Ahead
- LEVEL 3: Rising to the To
Purchase manuals on the Shop Illinois 4-H Store.
View exhibit requirements and scoresheets on the Illinois State Fair page.
Dr. Derek Nolan, University of Illinois, Teaching Assistant Professor, Animal Sciences
Illinois Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom
University of Illinois Extension staff that contributed to this resource include Melissa Irwin