Back to top

Beef and Dairy Cattle

Beef Cattle Project 4-H Beef Academy

The first decision a youth must make is which type of beef cattle project to show. 4-H beef cattle competitions may include purebred beef heifers, market steers, commercial heifer projects and commercial steer projects.

When a youth decides to raise a beef cattle project, he or she takes on the responsibility of caring for, feeding, and training the calf. This project teaches youth the value of hard work and commitment to a project.

The 4-H beef project area offers opportunities for youth to raise beef cattle for show competitions or to build their own herd. Contests focused on judging livestock and general knowledge are also an opportunity for youth to compete at the state and national level.

Beef Jeopardy Game

Game Hints

Dairy Cattle Project

Owning or leasing a dairy cattle project is a great way to learn more about the dairy industry as well as animal nutrition, health, reproduction, and milk production. The 4-H dairy cattle program offers many opportunities for youth who are interested in this project area. Competitions such as junior dairy cattle shows allow youth to raise a dairy animal and exhibit it at various shows from a local to national level.

Other contests such as dairy quiz bowl and judging are a great way to learn more about dairy cattle and the dairy industry, while having a great time and meeting new friends.

Dairy Judging Sites National 4-H Dairy conference

Beef and Dairy forms and downloads

2020 National 4-H Dairy Conference Application

2020 MA 4-H Dairy Show Entry Book

2020 MA Animal Health Regulations Fairs

 2020 NE Fair Shows CVI Requirements

Dairy Camp RV Form

Measures to Prevent Diseases Associated with Animals in Public Settings


4-H members leasing a livestock project must file a Livestock Verification Form with their local 4-H office.  Dairy and Beef Verification Forms are due May 1 and Goat, Sheep and Alpaca forms are due June 1.  NOTE:  DUE TO COVID-19 - FOR 2020 ONLY: DAIRY HEIFERS MUST BE LEASED OR OWNED BY MAY 15, 2020.

This 4-H Livestock Verification Form must be filed by the deadline with your local 4-H office:

MA 4-H Animal Verification Form

This Livestock Lease Form is NOT to be filed with your 4-H office. This is for your use between the owner and leasee.

Sample Livestock Lease Form

For further information, please contact:

Carrie Chickering-Sears
State 4-H Animal Specialist
University of Massachusetts Amherst 
111 North Maple Street
Hadley, MA 01035