4-H animal judging contests
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A series of Minnesota State Fair events for 4-H'ers who have qualified in their local fairs.
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 and rabbits can become good judges by knowing
- the parts of the animal and their location
- which parts are most important for meat and breeding stock production
- making keen observations
- comparing to the ideal
- weighing the good and bad points of each animal
For 4-H state fair exhibitors
- Check with your county for local animal judging contests
- Read state fair contest details in the premium book
- Read more about animal judging at the bottom of this page.
- Intermediate teams: Participants have completed grades 6-8.
- Senior teams: Participants have completed grade 6 to one year post-high school.
- Members should have had practice judging sessions prior to the state fair contest.
- Each team may consist of three or four members. If four members judge, the three highest scores will be used to determine the team score.
- Counties unable to compete with a team of at least three members may enter one or two individual participants in the senior and intermediate divisions who will be eligible for individual awards only.
- A county may participate as a part of a multi-county team or form its own team but may not have both a county and a multi-county team in the same age division. For example, a county may have a county senior team and a multi-county intermediate team. Teams must have practiced together prior to the state contest (county contests do not count as practicing together). All 4-H'ers within an age group from one county must be part of the same county or multi-county program. If the combining counties have three or more members in each county combining within an age division, they must judge as separate counties. If one of the counties combining has fewer than three members in one age division, they can judge with the other county they are combining with as a multi-county team. For clarification, read the Minnesota 4-H position statement on multi-county teams.
- 4-H'ers need not be enrolled in any specific project to participate on a judging team.
- Contestants not present at the start of the contest may participate but will not be eligible for awards.
- To participate in a state contest, team members must have completed sixth grade. 4-H'ers may participate up to one year post-high school.
- Contest coaches information is available yearly.
- To be eligible for national contests, 4-H'ers must not have participated in post-secondary coursework in judging or selection in the subject area of their national 4-H competition, nor have participated in training for a post-secondary judging team in the subject area of their national 4-H competition.
- All 4-H'ers who are members of a judging team must:
- Not have had their 20th birthday the year of the contest;
- Not have competed in a national 4-H contest (Dairy in Madison, Wisconsin, or General Livestock in Louisville, Kentucky).
- To be eligible for a national contest, all listed team members must meet the age guidelines for that specific contest. If not, the trip will be passed to the next highest placing team meeting the requirements. See Rule #11 above. Individuals not eligible for national contests as identified in Rule #11 may compete as individuals in the state contest.
- Registration: All 4-H'ers must be listed on the "State 4-H Judging Contest Registration Form" (4-H state fair form).