What you'll do
Explore the beef industry. Learn about breeds, health, feed, behavior, judging and showing a calf, ethical issues, reproduction, marketing, careers and more.
Your animal may be purebred, grade or crossbred; heifer, steer or cow-calf. Most 4-H'ers in the beef project aim to show their beef animal at the county fair. Those who do well in the county fair may go on to compete at the Minnesota State Fair!
What you'll learn
- Learn basic principles of animal science by caring for and keeping records on one or more animals.
- Show that you understand sound breeding, feeding and management practices.
- Learn the value of scientific research on animals and the meat industry.
Levels of learning
Get started with 4-H'ers in your area
Get started on your own
- US beef and cattle statistics
- Estimating cattle age using dentition - Missouri State University
- Beef Quality Assurance Manual
- Buying beef for meat processing
- Cattle grazing management systems
Already enrolled in the 4-H Beef Project?
Market beef and dairy steer ID deadline is February 16, 2021 (due to Feb 15 falling on a holiday). Find more information on the animal science ID page.
- Beef information sheet — posted Dec 11, 2020
- AnSci updates for 2021 — posted Dec 11, 2020
- 4-H animal ID requirements and processes
- Animal science show requirements sheet for all species
- Animal science 4-H premise ID information
- Cloverbuds and animals
Join the Minnesota State Fair 4-H show committee
This is a leadership opportunity for 4-H members in grade 9 and up. Represent your fellow 4-H'ers on the livestock show committee, serving with adult volunteers.
What you'll do
- Attend two face to face meetings during the year as youth representative
- Participate in 2-4 calls during the year
- Staff a 4-H livestock information booth the first two days of the Minnesota State Fair
How to apply
Selected applicants will be notified in September and will be invited to a state fair meeting in October. This is a one-year experience, and you can apply for a second year.
Brian McNeill, Extension educator and advisor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Local livestock committees
You may be able to join your county 4-H livestock committee. Contact your local 4-H office for more information.
Fairs and exhibits
Record keeping & evaluation
- 4-H youth record keeping — reflect on your project and what you've learned.
- Animal science project interviews evaluation — junior level
- Animal science project interviews evaluation — senior level
- General livestock judging contest evaluation with reasons
You can exhibit
Contact your local 4-H office for sign-up deadlines and more info about how to get started showing your:
- Registered or commercial spring calf
- Registered or commercial fall calf
- Registered or commercial summer yearling
- Registered or commercial junior yearling
- Registered or commercial senior yearling
- Heifer calf
- Steer calf
Commonly shown breeds include: Black Angus, Charolais, Hereford, Red Angus, South Devon, Shorthorn, Gelbvieh, Limousin, Simmental, Maine Anjou, Maintainer and Crossbreeds.
See requirements for breeds, birth dates and animal ID. These are required for all beef shows (state and local).
- Livestock interviews
- Science of Animals exhibits
- General livestock judging contest
- General livestock project bowl
Find out about livestock shows near you on your local 4-H website.
Reviewed in 2020