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Animal Science Program

Vet Camp

Interested in learning about your 4-H animal project during a summer weekend? The Massachusetts 4-H Program offers academies for dairy cattle, dogs, goats and sheep. You will explore animal care, showing and grooming techniques, first aid, and have the opportunity to meet youth with similar interests from throughout New England.

The objective of the Massachusetts 4-H Animal Science Program is:

  1. To develop and foster life skills through positive interactions with others.
  2. To teach scientific principles of Animal Science to young people.
  3. To increase the awareness of animal industry issues among youth.
  4. To inform youth about careers in animal agriculture and educational opportunities at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Throughout the state, there are a variety of animal science clubs that focus on either one or multiple species. The program has clubs that focus on companion animals (dogs, cats, rabbits, cavies, etc), livestock (beef cattle, dairy cattle, goats, sheep, swine, working steer), poultry (chickens and turkey), the heritage breeds and our most popular animal project area is the horse. In the horse program, there is the option for both horse owners and horse lovers (do not own a horse) to join a club.

Animal academies and day clinics sponsored by Massachusetts 4-H and the UMass Amherst Veterinary and Animal Science Department give youth and adults the opportunity to build upon skills in their respective project area. Participants learn in a fun environment about various topics such as nutrition, health, reproduction, and grooming and showing skills.

Fairs and horse shows held during the spring and summer allow youth the chance to exhibit their project animal. These events are also a good avenue for youth to network with other youth from across the state with similar interests.

If you have an interest in animals and you want to learn more about them, the Massachusetts 4-H Animal Science program is worth exploring.

“The animals are a lot of work, but the friends you make and the experiences you get out of 4-H are unforgettable.” Franklin County 4-H member

"The UMass Veterinary Camp was a great experience in giving me insight into what large animal veterinary medicine is about. I have now decided to apply to UMass Amherst for an animal science degree on a pre-vet track." Julia Lloyd, Hampden County 4-H member

Useful resources for 4-H members and leaders working with any animal science project.

  • Handwashing Poster: Important information for groups working with the general public and animals.  This poster is suitable for printing and posting in public locations.
  • Merck Veterinary ManualFind information on animal health topics, written for the veterinary professional.