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University of Minnesota Extension

4-H clover 4-H animal judging contests

Two girls showing dairy cattle in a show ring.

Effectively evaluating breeding and market animals is highly important in the animal industry. Judging is an art developed through patient study and long practice.

4-H'ers interested in dairy, general livestock (beef, meat goat, sheep and swine), horses, poultry and rabbits can become good judges by knowing:

  • The parts of the animal and their locations.
  • Which parts are most important for meat and breeding stock production.
  • Making keen observations.
  • Comparing the animal to the ideal.
  • Weighing the good and bad points of each animal.

Check with your county/tribal community for local animal judging contests. The following information is for participants at the state fair. 

For all participants


Dairy judging contest


General livestock judging contest

Page survey

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