Ice cream, cheese, and milk are a few of the great products that dairy cows produce. The dairy project is a fun way to learn about the management and care of dairy cattle and the many career opportunities in the dairy industry. Activities in this project will help you gain knowledge in learning proper feeding, health, selection, and marketing all within this project. You will also learn about the many dairy products and various uses of cow's milk.
Resources for all levels
DA131 Dairy 1
- Select your project animal
- Practice record keeping
- Prepare for the show
DA132 Dairy 2
- Handling and caring for your animals
- Milking, marketing and careers
- Judging and identification
DA133 Dairy 3
- Balancing a ration
- Reproduction and breeding
DA134 Judging Dairy Cattle
What are the characteristics to look for in a prize dairy animal that yields the most milk? Learn to evaluate animals, place them like a pro and justify your decision.
Policies and procedures
To exhibit your livestock project at a fair, you must be a member in good standing in 4-H. To maintain your good standing, you must comply with the 4-H Food Quality Assurance Policy.
4-H Food Quality Assurance Policy
Objective: To increase the knowledge and awareness of Missouri youth about food quality issues related to animal production.
Who should take SMQA: All 4-H members enrolled in food animal projects (including beef, sheep, swine, dairy cattle, meats, meat and dairy goats, rabbits, and poultry) must complete the appropriate level of Missouri Show Me Quality Assurance (MSMQA) certification to be considered 4-H member in good standing in that project. Additionally, members must complete their MSMQA program by June 1 to participate in the Missouri State Fair. Other county good standing guidelines may also apply. Check with your local 4-H youth specialist for current local guidelines.
The Program: The Show Me Quality Assurance Program consists of two parts. The information presented is different in each part. Most counties alternate which part is presented each year; this is why it is required to take it two consecutive years in a row.
One part covers information on daily care and management; animal handling; farm/animal identification (Premise ID); reading feed labels; withdrawal times; and biosecurity (disease prevention).
The other part provides information on HACCP; animal health products; proper injection locations; carcass quality; and carcass value.
A refresher course is required when the 4-H member turns 14. After that is completed, the 4-H is certified through age 18.
Definitions of terms:
- "Qualified to Show" means the member has participated in Missouri Show Me quality Assurance training within the current 4-H program year.
- "SMQA Conditional Certified" for youth age 8 to 13 by January 1 of the program year certification is conditional. To obtain the conditional certification status a member age 8 to 13 by January 1 has participated in two consecutive years of training. Once they obtain a conditional status they do not have to take a refresher course until they are 14 by January 1 of the program year. Upon completion of the refresher course they would be SMQA Certified for the remainder of their youth exhibition career in 4-H.
- "SMQA Certified" Youth in 4-H who attend one training after they have turned 14 by January 1 of the program year will be considered SMQA Certified and no further training will be required for the remainder of their 4-H exhibition career.
Dairy Cattle Judging Contest
Dairy Cow Camp
Dairy Judging Camp