The educational 4-H Starter Calf program and related activities provide youth with a fun and hands-on learning experience which develops both starter calf subject skill such as nutrition, housing and health care and life skills such as responsibility, decision-making, nurturing, and communications under the direction of caring adults.
For Judging and Check-in information, consult the current 4-H Catalog.
Livestock Activity Sheets Available from the Extension Office.
1. All 4-H General Rules, Livestock Rules and Health Regulations apply.
2. All Starter Calves must be individually identified during the county identification day under the supervision of
the Extension staff at the start of the project. Animals will be weighed and tagged with an official Adams
a. Dairy Starter Calves must weigh no more than 250 lbs. at April ID day to be eligible to exhibit at the Adams
County 4-H Fair. Dairy Starter Calves intended for State Fair only may be heavier than the Adams County
250 lb. limit, but must still be tagged at April ID day.
b. Beef Starter Calves must be tagged and weighed at the April ID day with no beginning weight limit. Beef
Starter Calves must be under 600 lbs. at fair weigh in.
3. All animals must be identified, owned, under the care of the 4-H’er and enrolled online by 4:30 PM on May 15th.
a. 4-H’ers may enroll a maximum of 6 starter calves and may show a max of 3 calves. If more
than this number appear on 4hOnline, only the first six will be eligible.
b. The animal can be purebred dairy, dairy crossbred, dairy/beef crossbred, beef crossbred, or purebred beef.
Any combination of dairy will be shown as a dairy animal. Any animal with beef blood will be shown as a
c. The calf can be a steer or market heifer. However, heifers will be entered and shown in only one
4-H livestock show and cannot be shown in beef or dairy breeding classes.
4. Workshop Verification OR Record Sheets are due into the Extension Office by 4:30 PM on July 1st.
4-H’ers not turning in the required paperwork will not be eligible to show or sale at the Adams County 4-H Fair.
a. 4-H’ers enrolled in both Beef and Starter Calf projects will only need to attend one workshop to count
towards both Beef and Starter Calf Paperwork Requirements. 4-H’er’s not attending a workshop will need to
complete all required paperwork for both Beef and Starter Calf.
5. All Starter Calves must be properly dehorned and castrated or banned prior to fair. Freshly castrated calves will
not be allowed to show. No clamping will be allowed. Animals will be inspected upon
arrival at fair by a Beef Committee member, their decision is final.
Entry Procedures and Fair Exhibition Specific Rules:
1. Beef/Starter Calf committee members will unload and weigh in cattle 45 minutes prior to normal weigh in time.
This will allow for committee members to help with entry weigh in.
2. A 4 x 6 (landscape) picture of yourself and the animal you plan to sell in the auction must be turned in
during Saturday check-in at fair. 4-H’ers Name and Animal ID must be on the back of the picture.
3. The Starter Calf barn is to be filled before putting calves in the cattle barn, without exception.
4. Starter Calves will be weighed only once, immediately upon stepping from transportation to the fairgrounds, and
this weight will be the official show/auction weight. A representative from the family must be at the scales at
time of weigh-in, re-weigh requests must be brought before the committee immediately after first weigh in.
5. Calves will be sifted by an appointed sifting committee.
6. Exhibitors are responsible for the cleanliness of stalls. Do not leave buckets of water or feed in front of calves.
Stalls will be assigned.
1. Beef Starter Calf
All classes will be split by weight, with one Grand Champion Beef Starter Calf selected.
2. Dairy Starter Calf
All classes split by weight; divided into four divisions: Light, Medium, Light Heavy and Heavy.
The four division champions will compete for Grand Champion Dairy Starter Calf.
3. Rate-of-Gain award will be given to the exhibitor whose calf has the best gain from the spring county
identification day until the county fair.
1. Showmanship is on a volunteer basis with members strongly encouraged to participate. Sign up at the
announcers stand to participate on show day.
2. Members must currently be enrolled in the Starter Calf project and show their own animal in showmanship.
3. Showmanship will be divided into 4 classes:
a. Junior (Grades 3-5) Junior winner will compete in the Intermediate division the following year.
Junior winner cannot repeat as Champion Junior Starter Calf Showman.
b. Intermediate (Grades 6-8) Intermediate winner will compete in Senior division the following year.
Intermediate winner cannot repeat as Champion Intermediate Starter Calf Showman.
c. Senior (Grades 9-12) Senior winner will compete in premier division the following year.
Senior winner cannot repeat as Champion Senior Starter Calf Showman.
d. Premier - The Premier Showman will be selected from the current Beginner, Intermediate and Senior
Showman and any past Senior and Premier Showmanship winners still enrolled in 4-H. The winner will
represent the Starter Calf species in the overall Supreme Showman contest.
A Premier Showmanship runner-up will be selected and announced.
1. Exhibitors may sell only once through the 4-H auction. Members must inform the committee of their intent to
sell or take the animal home within 30 minutes of the completion of the Starter Calf Show.
2. Starter Calves must weigh at least 275 lbs. to sell in the 4-H Auction.
3. Once a member sells a Starter Calf through the 4-H Auction that member or an immediate family member
cannot show that animal the following year in the Beef project. Animals shown but not sold may return the
following year for the Beef project provided the animal meets the project requirements.
4. All non-auction animals will be released after auction set-up on Thursday.
5. The Grand Champion Beef Starter Calf will sell first and the Grand Champion Dairy Starter Calf second, this
will be rotated each year. (Even years Dairy Starter Calf first, Odd years Beef Starter Calf first.)
The Reserve Grand Champion will sell in the same order as above followed by Showmanship winners,
Rate of Gain winner and then remaining animals by back tag number.
6. Exhibitors are responsible for providing each animal left at the fairgrounds a completely serviceable
halter or tie rope for securing the animal after the sale. The retention of this equipment will be attempted but not
7. All non-auction animals will be released after auction set-up on Thursday.
Exhibit Rules and Requirements:
1. Complete and turn in your record sheet at Mini 4-H Project Check in on Thursday of Pre-Fair from 6-8PM.
2. Show one starter calf at the Adams County 4-H Fair.
a. The calf you show at the 4-H Fair will NOT be your own calf. The calf must belong to a regular 4-H member
enrolled in the Starter Calf project. It can belong to a brother, sister, cousin, friend, or even close neighbor.
The calf must be shown by the regular 4-H member in the 4-H Starter Calf show. In other words, an older 4-H
member cannot bring an extra calf just for the Mini 4-H member to show.
3. The Starter Calf Show is Monday of the 4-H Fair. All Mini 4-H members will show together. The members will
be judged on showmanship, with each member receiving a ribbon.
4. Mini 4-H members will NOT sell in the 4-H Auction.
5. Mini 4-H members, in grades K-2, will be allowed to show, work with, or care for animal projects after their
parent or legal guardian has signed a liability release. Mini 4-H members may independently show, work with,
or care for animals that weigh 300 pounds or less. Mini 4-H members may only show, work with, or care for
animals over 300 pounds when they are assisted by a parent, legal guardian, or another adult designated in
writing by parent or legal guardian.