girl with steer

Animal Science projects teach subject matter related to each animal while helping youth develop life skills. In each level, youth may choose from a variety of learning goals as they develop an inquiring mind and a desire to seek out the scientific principles involved in raising and marketing livestock. You can develop leadership, initiative, self-reliance and sportsmanship through project activities. They learn to accept responsibility by having an animal to care for regularly and the principles of animal nutrition.

Through animal science projects they will also learn to care for, train and handle animals safely. Youth can practice taking care of equipment and evaluate several methods of performing a task. They will learn to understand and apply research in making wise decisions and investments and use it in managing your animals and planning their goals. Animal science projects are designed to stimulate  interest as you explore the livestock industry or establish a profitable livestock business of your own.

Each county fair or show in Montana will have its own unique rules and guidelines. It is the member’s responsibility to read and understand the regulations and rules that govern their project and the shows they want to participate in. It is suggested that the youth obtain a copy of the county information that is specific to their project before they start the project.

Montana 4-H Animal Quality Assurance Policy

All 4-H members (and a parent or guardian) enrolled in any livestock project, including breeding projects, must become certified through Animal Quality Assurance training at least once as a junior 4-H member and recertify once as a senior 4-H member. All new members are required to complete a county Animal Quality Assurance training workshop in their first year.

Discuss options with your county agent to determine the requirements and recertification opportunities available in your county. In some counties, senior 4-H members, if previously certified, may recertify through county AQA training, by successfully completing an official online course offered by industry associations or universities, or by teaching AQA to younger members. Some counties require beginners (age 8-10) to take the class and then again as a junior (age 11-13).

General Project Requirements

By completing the minimum requirements at each level, you’ll learn about every part of the project and be ready for the next level. The achievement program will help you set goals, record your successes and be recognized for your good work. Each level can take several years to complete. You are not expected to complete a level each year. In some projects, more than one level can be completed in a year if you are highly motivated. Remember, keeping records is an important part of every livestock project.