Authors: Aaron Fisher, Spencer Morris, & Arin Weidner
Published: March 16, 2018
The Indiana State Fair is the culmination of the 4-H livestock experience, where 4-H members showcase what they have learned with their animal over the course of the summer. The Indiana State Fair’s Indiana Bred and Owned program is another opportunity for 4-H youth to demonstrate their skills and knowledge with their animal.
The program encourages Indiana 4-H exhibitors and families to purchase purebred seedstock from Indiana breeders. This not only stimulates the Indiana purebred seedstock economy but also helps build relationships with existing Indiana producers. By showing these animals at the Indiana State Fair, we can grow awareness of this industry.
Indiana Bred and Owned Program used to be called Hoosier Heritage
The program’s original name, Hoosier Heritage, could be confusing to people who were not familiar with it. It was challenging to market to exhibitors and their families, because the name didn’t reflect that it was a program 4-H members could participate in.
Enrolling in the Indiana Bred and Owned Program
4-H livestock exhibitors can enter as long as they are showing one of the following: beef (steers and heifers), swine (barrows and gilts), sheep (market lambs and breeding ewes), dairy goats, and meat goat does. Meat goat wethers are excluded because no breeder location verification process is currently in place.
The entry fee is $25 paid through the Indiana State Fair’s Exhibitor’s Corner entry system.
Make an additional entry in the Exhibitor’s Corner entry system, which exhibitors can access by visiting the Indiana State Fair website. In the competitions section, create an additional entry, and in the drop-down menu select Indiana Bred and Owned (Department 340).
New opportunities for 4-H members enrolled in the program
4-H members enrolled in the program have opportunities for banner awards and additional monetary premiums. The program’s 2018 budget was expanded to provide these awards. In 2018, an exhibitor that is Champion Bred and Owned will receive a $100 premium, and a Reserve Champion will be awarded a $50 premium.
Each species includes an overall Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion, for which premiums have been significantly increased. For example, an exhibitor awarded Grand Champion Bred and Owned will receive a $500 premium. Reserve Grand Champion will be awarded a $250 premium.
Grand and Reserve Grand Champions also will compete in their overall species Grand Drive as the breed champion for Indiana Bred and Owned, which the Indiana State Fair is considering a breed.
Updates and additions to the livestock shows this year at the Indiana State Fair
In 2018 the market animal Grand Drive will take place on August 5. A second Grand Drive called the Supreme Drive on August 12 will recognize the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion dairy females, breeding ewes, and breeding gilts.
The Supreme Champion Showmanship competition will be moved to Friday, August 10 to allow for scheduling flexibility. The Coliseum will be available for an extended period of time to allow for additional awards and recognition.
Also new for swine exhibitors in 2018, for the first time the Indiana State Fair will have pre-penning and pre-tacking. This means 4-H exhibitors and their families will have their pen assignment and be allowed to tack and bed down ahead of animals arriving. This preparation will make the move-in process easier and more manageable.
The Indiana Bred and Owned Program anticipates offering this program for many years to come and continuing to add awards, premiums, and recognition opportunities. Some opportunities to add awards for the open show species at the Indiana State Fair in the future also may occur.
Aaron Fisher is a 4-H Extension Specialist for Purdue Extension. He provides leadership to Indiana 4-H Animal Science projects and develops opportunities for Indiana 4-H youth to learn about animals and agriculture.
Spencer Morris is the livestock manager for the Indiana State Fair. He grew up showing livestock in Indiana and at the State Fair. Spencer is a Purdue University alumnus with a background in agricultural economics, policy, and marketing.
Arin Weidner is a 4-H Extension Specialist for Purdue Extension. She supports Indiana 4-H programming with the creation of technology-facilitated curriculum and learning opportunities through partnerships with Extension staff and faculty.