Lake County

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4-H Beef Project

December 12, 2019

The educational 4-H beef program and related activities (such as workshops and tours) provide youth with a fun and hands-on learning experience which develops both beef subject skills (such as nutrition, housing, and health care) and life skills (such as responsibility, decision-making, nurturing, and communications). Skills are learned under the direction of caring adults.

Level 1 (grades 3 - 5)

Level 2 (grades 6 - 8)

Level 3 (grades 9 - 12)




State 4-H Beef Project

Record Sheet Required at Fair Check-In (if not exhibiting live animals, project manuals are required for completion and must be turned into Extension Office by July 1).

Beef 1: Bite into Beef (grades 3 - 5)

Beef 2: Here's the Beef (grades 6 - 8)

Beef 3: Leading the Group (grades 9 - 12)

***Manuals are available to purchase at the Education Store or the Lake county extension office.

Beef ID instructions

Youth Livestock Exhibitors as Ambassadors for Animal Agriculture

Declared Weight System at the Indiana State Fair 4-H Beef Show

General Exhibit Requirements

  1. All beef animals to be exhibited must be listed on the Livestock Entry Form for the fair due July 1.
  2. All Beef educational options are due at Beef Check-in.
  3. A Champion and Reserve Champion will be awarded for the two best steers in each breed. A Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion will be awarded from these animals.
  4. All beef animals must comply with the regulations of the Indiana State Veterinarian/Board of Animal Health. Animals housed in Indiana are not required to have health papers. Animals housed out-of-state must have valid health papers (Certificate of Veterinary Inspection is valid for 30 days for out-of-state animals.) Health papers must match animal identification. If there is a concern about the health or safety of a particular animal, the superintendent reserves the right to contact the fair veterinarian and/or release that animal to be transported off the fairgrounds.
  5. All livestock superintendents are responsible for checking registration papers and tattoos.
  6. Calves must be attended by a Lake County 4-H member, or kept at the residence of a Lake County 4-H member who lives in another county. Lake County Livestock Premise/Partnership/Lease Agreement form is required for all beef animals not housed at the residence of the 4-H exhibitor.
  7. Stall space will be assigned prior to the fair at the Beef Workshop/Picnic. Cattle that will be stalled for the open show may be required to re-stall for 30 the 4-H show.
  8. All fans must be hung from rafters over the tie stalls and are limited to one fan per head of cattle. Furnace fans must be properly shielded.
  9. Animals must remain in the barn during the night time.
  10. All animals will be grouped into three groups according to quality, and all awarded an A, B, or C.
  11. Project Manuals will be an optional class. Members must complete 3 activities and submit to the Extension Office by July 1. 


  1. All Steers must have been born between January 1 and December 31, 2014.
  2. All steers and market heifers should be entered in Class 1 of the breed section. Steers and market heifers will be weighed before showing and each breed will be divided into approximately equal size classes according to weight.
  3. Steers will be identified at tagging date according to state rules. The exhibitor will have the choice as to what breed class the steer qualifies for; if the intended breed does not fit the steer, the beef superintendent can make a suggestion as to how he/she feels the steer should be shown. Steers must meet breed characteristics. Final classification will be done by the judge on show day in each respective class, and the steers will be placed accordingly. Market heifers will not be shown by breed. They will be shown by weight. If an exhibitor wishes to change the breed of his steer to crossbred, this must be done during weigh-in at the fair. No changes will be made after the scale closes. Changes from crossbred to breed will not be allowed.
  4. Only six steers and two market heifers may be entered by any one 4-H exhibitor. One of the steers may be entered in carcass class.
  5. Only steers are eligible to show in the steer classes.
  6. For the safety of 4-H members, horns will not be permitted; scurs that protrude from the head must be loose and not come to a point.
  7. You do not need to declare the Market Heifer Class at tagging. You can still put crossbred or breed. If you decide to enter them in the Market Heifer Class, they must be entered in the Market Heifer Class on your entry due July 1. Champion Market Heifer will not be included in the Grand Drive.
  8. Market Heifers must be pregnancy checked “open” by a licensed and accredited veterinarian at the expense of the exhibitor July 15th and July 30th prior to of the Lake County Fair. The veterinarian must document “open”. If this is not completed or heifer is bred the heifer will be allowed to show as a crossbred heifer.

Breeds: Same as State Fair breeds. Class 1 (All Steers and Market Heifers)

Breeding Animals

  1. Member should be prepared to present papers to the superintendent.
  2. Beef Heifers with horns must be weighted or muffed for exhibit.
  3. All non-registered heifers (market & crossbred) must be identified to be eligible for the County Fair. Registered heifers do not need to be ear tagged or nose printed and or retinal scanned; however, they must be listed on the enrollment form. You will need the animal’s registration papers in order to match the tattoo.
  4. Chianina heifers must be properly tattooed and registered with the National Chianina Association to be eligible for State Fair.
  5. All registered heifers will show in their respective breed classes. If there is not a breed class for your registered heifer, the heifer will be shown as an AOB/Other registered. Changes from crossbred to breed will not be allowed.
  6. Registration papers will be checked when exhibits are checked in. Tattoos must match the registration papers. Tattoos must be in place before entering the fairgrounds.
  7. Animals shown in 4-H Breeding Heifer classes will not be eligible to show in 4-H Market Heifer classes.

Breeds: Same as State Fair breeds.

Class 2 Class 2 Junior Yearling - Born January 1- April 30, 2014

Class 3 Summer Yearling –Born May 1- August 31, 2014

Class 4 Senior Calf - Born after September 1, 2013

Class 5 Two Year Old Heifers

Crossbred Heifer

Heifers will be weighed at fair and classes will be established at that time. (Limit of two crossbred heifers).


  1. Any cow that was a 4-H Breeding Heifer project of that 4-H member in the two prior calendar years and still owned by the member may enter as a Cow-Calf Project.
  2. Each member will be limited to two Cow-Calf combinations.
  3. The exhibit will be the cow with her natural calf (no embryo transplant), born during year, judged as a pair.
  4. Market Heifers are not eligible for Cow-Calf.
  5. All cows previously shown as crossbred heifers will be shown as crossbred for Cow-Calf.

Class 1 All Other Breeds and Crosses

Class 2 British Breeds: Hereford Cow, (Hereford Calf); Angus Cow, (Angus Calf); Shorthorn Cow, (Shorthorn Calf).

Lake County Born and Raised

  1. Eligible calves must have been both born and raised in Lake County, without exception. Ownership of sire and cow does not matter.
  2. Calves must only be born in Lake County and raised by a Lake County 4-H member within Lake County.
  3. There will be a Grand and Reserve Grand Champion LC Born and Raised Steer selected, as well as a Grand and Reserve Grand Champion LC Born and Raised Heifer selected.
  4. Designation if calf is LC Born and Raised will need to be made on your Livestock Entry Forms, simply noted by an LC next to entry.
  5. A Steer and Heifer will be selected at end of show by Final Highest Finish. If there is a tie, a separate class will be made up of those animals to 31 re-enter the ring for the judge to decide the final decision.

Feeder Calf/Prospect Calf

  1. Calves must be born in the current 4-H calendar year of show.
  2. Both Steer and Heifers are allowed to show in the Feeder Calf/Prospect show. Market Heifers will show in the steer class. No bull calves allowed.
  3. Calves are not allowed to have horns at time of show.
  4. Calves must have a numbered ear tag for proper identification for show. (Farm tags allowed.)
  5. 4-H members are to enter Feeder Calf/Prospect class on their July entry forms.
  6. There will be one Steer class and one Heifer class at the 4-H show. (No separate breed classes will be made.)
  7. There will be a selection for Champion and Reserve Feeder/Prospect Steer and Champion/Reserve Feeder/Prospect Heifer.
  8. Feeder Calf/Prospect Calves are not allowed to go through the Livestock Auction.

Beef Carcass

  1. Placing one through ten will be awarded on hoof. A Champion and Reserve Champion will be awarded on rail. Cash awards of $10, $7, $5 will be awarded to placings 1-3 on hoof. Placing for on hoof judging will be done by 4-H members who are present for on hoof judging.
  2. Member must indicate Carcass Show participation on Livestock Entry Form. Determination of animal (steer) identification must be made at on hoof weigh-in at Fair.
  3. Exhibitors must comply with general health regulations.
  4. Exhibitors will be responsible for the transportation of their animals to the Butcher Block after the weigh-in, unless previous arrangements have been made with the superintendent.
  5. Animals may be withdrawn for safety reasons.
  6. Animals must be clean and haltered. Animals will be tied to rail until weigh-in is completed. If the animal is deemed unsafe by superintendent or judge, that animal will be removed from live show and sent to Butcher Block on that animal’s scheduled day of slaughter. The exhibitor will be penalized 10% of their auction check for that animal. The money will be placed in the Beef Fund.
  7. Only steers are eligible to show in the carcass class. For safety of the 4-H members, no horns will be permitted; scurs that protrude from the head must be loose and must not come to a point.
  8. Only one steer may be entered in the carcass class.
  9. If more than 20 steers are entered in the Carcass Show, only the first 20 placings on the hoof will be processed. Those placed lower than number 20 must be taken back home after the "on hoof" show. These steers may participate in 4-H beef show classes at Fair.
  10. No animal may be physically changed or altered for show. If this is found, member will be disqualified from showing for three years.
  11. Member wishing to sell a steer at the 4-H Animal Livestock Auction should so indicate at the time of the weigh-in. Judge will determine if carcass carried enough finish to sell in the 4-H Auction.
  12. For the purpose of on rail placing, steers over 1600 lbs. will be adjusted to 1600 lbs


Interested in sponsoring a trophy or award for this project? Please contact the project superintendent or Extension Office at 219-755-3240 to learn more!


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