Lake County

extension news notice

Purdue Extension: Expert Resources for COVID-19

4-H Dairy Project

December 12, 2019

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

Level 1 (Grades 3 – 5)

Level 2 (Grades 6 – 8)

Level 3 (Grade 9 – 12)




State 4-H Dairy Website

Dairy Cattle 1: Cowabunga! (Grades 3 – 5)

Dairy Cattle 2: Mooving Ahead (Grades 6 – 8)

Dairy Cattle 3: Rising to the Top (Grade 9 – 12)

***Manuals can be purchased at the Education Store or at the Lake County Extension office. 

Lease Agreement 

Youth Livestock Exhibitors as Ambassadors for Animal Ambassadors

Dairy Showmanship

General Exhibit Requirements


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).

  1. All Dairy Steers to be exhibited must be listed on the Livestock Entry Form for the fair, due July 1. No exceptions.
  2. A Champion and Reserve Champion will be awarded for the best two Junior and best two Senior animals in each breed. 1-5 placings will be awarded in each class.
  3. All dairy animals must comply with the regulations of the Indiana State Livestock Sanitary Board.
  4. All livestock superintendents are responsible for checking registration papers.
  5. Dairy animals may be any one of the following breeds: Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, Jersey or Milking Shorthorn. It is preferable that dairy heifers be registered and from high-producing dams, but is not required.
  6. For the safety of the 4-H members, horns will not be permitted.
  7. If a dry cow entered in a dry cow class freshens before judging, cow will be exhibited in the cow class.
  8. If a dairy member is unable to show his/her own animal, a substitute dairy showman must be approved by the superintendent by 5:00 pm on the day preceding the show. Requests will only be granted for medical emergencies, conflicts with showing other animals, or desperate circumstances deemed unavoidable by the superintendent. Only dairy members are eligible as substitute showmen.
  9. During Dairy Check-in one parent should be ready to check in animals as soon as all animals and supplies have been unloaded into the Dairy Barn. Registration papers, vet papers and educational options are due at check-in before 8:00 pm. CVI for out-of-state animals (valid for 30 days) is required by BOAH and USDA. A registration certificate (no photocopies, carbons, or fax copies except a fax directly from the national breed association to the Lake County Fair 4-H Office) must be presented at check-in. Copies are permitted to stay during the fair.
  10. Exhibitors in the 4-H Dairy Project may choose
    • to show a dairy animal,
    • to prepare an educational exhibit depicting some aspect of the dairy project, or
    • prepare and deliver an action demonstration during the Fair to complete the project.
  11. Animals will be grouped into three groups according to quality and all awarded an A, B, or C.
  12. Dairy Barn Good Neighbor Award - Levels 1, 2, and 3. All dairy members may vote once for their own level. Attendance and participation at county workshops will be considered. Cooperation with other dairy members, parents and superintendents, displays of courtesy to fairgoers, neatness of stall areas, and assistance with upkeep of barn areas will all be considered. Votes will be tallied and the superintendent will cast the final vote.
  13. During Champion class, exhibitor is expected to utilize 4-H Dairy members.
  14. Master Showmanship - All Dairy members who win Senior Showmanship in the current year, may compete in Master Showmanship in the current year.
  15. All animals shown in classes 20-23 must have been exhibited in their respective age class. A 4-Her may not show more than one animal in each of the age group classes (classes 1-16). 4-H members may not enroll both leased and owned dairy animals.
  16. Check-out time is 3:00 PM on the final day of the fair. Milking cows may be released early Sunday morning. If so, they must be off the fairgrounds prior to 10:00 AM to minimize disruption. No other animals, including other dairy animals, are allowed to check out early.
  17. Group classes will be limited to one entry per farm exhibiting.
  18. Project Manuals will be an optional class. Members must complete 3 activities and submit to the Extension Office by July 1. 

Dairy Show: Holstein, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Ayreshire, Jersey, Milking Shorthorn

Class 1: Spring Heifer Calf – Mar 1 to Apr 30, 2016

Class 2: Winter Heifer Calf – Dec 1, 2015 to Feb 28, 2016

Class 3: Fall Heifer Calf – Sep 1 to Nov 30, 2015

Class 4: Summer Yearling Heifer – June 1 to Aug 31, 2015

Class 5: Spring Yearling Heifer – Mar 1 to May 31, 2015

Class 6: Winter Yearling Heifer – Dec 1, 2014 to Feb 28, 2015

Class 7: Fall Yearling Heifer – Sept 1 to Nov 30, 2014

Class 8: Jr. Champion Holstein

Class 9: Jr. Champion All Other Breeds

Class 10: Junior 2 Year Old Cow – Mar 1 to Aug 31, 2014

Class 11: Senior 2 Year Old Cow – Sept 1, 2013 to Feb 28, 2014

Class 12: Junior 3 Year Old Cow – Mar 1 to Aug 31, 2013

Class 13: Senior 3 Year Old Cow – Sept 1, 2012 to Feb 28, 2013

Class 14: 4 Year Old Cow – Sept 1, 20011 to Aug 31, 2012

Class 15: Aged Cow Born Prior to Aug 31, 2011

Class 16: Dry Cow

Class 17: Senior Champion Holstein

Class 18: Senior Champion All Other Breeds

Class 19: Get of Sire (2 or 3 offspring from same father)

Class 20: Best Udder

Class 21: Senior Three Best Females

Class 22: Produce of Dam (2 or 3 offspring from same mother)

Class 23: Daughter/Dam (daughter and her mother)

Best Dairy Record Book

Dairy Steer

  1. All Dairy Market and Feeder Steers to be exhibited must be listed on the Livestock Entry Form due July 1. No exceptions.
  2. Dairy Steers must be ear tagged and retinal scanned and or nose printed at county identification date.
  3. No showsticks, blocking of animal or balling of tails will be allowed. All steers must be shown in a dairy halter; no beef halters allowed.
  4. Exhibitors are to dress neatly in a collared, button shirt, black or blue jeans and sturdy shoes. No sneakers.
  5. All steers must be dehorned and show no evidence of testicular tissue. Freshly castrated steers will not be allowed to show (same as State Fair catalog)
  6. Each exhibitor may have one entry in each class.
  7. All dairy steer entries must be of a recognized dairy breed. No crossbred animals will be allowed.
  8. All steers must be halter broke. If an animal becomes too unruly, it will be the judge’s decision to ask the 4-H member to leave with the animal. In this instance the steer will be ineligible for Champion Awards and will receive a participation ribbon. It will also be ineligible to be sold through the 4-H Livestock Auction.
  9. Substitute Showman rules are the same as they are for the 4-H Dairy Cattle show. A Champion and Reserve Champion will be awarded in both Feeder and Market Classes.
  10. Dairy Steers will be shown at the 4-H Dairy Show.
  11. Dairy Cattle & Dairy Steer Educational Options may include the following and are due at Dairy animal check-in.

Class 1 - Feeder Class Calved Dec 1, 2015 to May 15, 2016

Class 2 - Market Class Calved after Dec 1, 2014

Promotional Piece: Promotional piece advertising one dairy product. Promotional piece may be a 22x14" poster displayed vertically suitable for a newspaper/magazine advertisement, a 10x22" poster suitable for outdoor advertising (billboard), a 15-30 second radio spot on audiotape, a 15-30 second television spot on VHS format video tape, or a web page. Topics of the promotion piece must be original ideas. Do not use Dairy Council or other commercially prepared materials. Please be sure poster exhibits have a stiff cardboard backing and are covered with clear plastic for exhibit.

Dairy Science Display: Develop an idea and build it into an attractive display, as well as learn the technical aspect of some part of the dairy industry. Total display must occupy a space no larger than 30"deep x 48"wide x 72"high. Visual aids must be included, e.g. posters, charts, diagrams, models, pictures, etc. 4-H members are not limited to these, but are encouraged to be creative.

Dairy Educational Poster, Display or Diorama: Posters must meet poster requirements and should cover topics given in the activity guide, or relate to one of the activities in the activity guide.


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!

Related Files

Recent Stories