Youth receive a number of opportunities to expand their knowledge of livestock, improve management and handing skills, and develop responsibility. Members also acquire leadership, communication, and critical-thinking skills through these competitions and events.
A stockmen’s contest is a comprehensive test of livestock knowledge including identification classes of meats, feeds, equipment and breeds; evaluation classes of meats, hay, sheep, swine, and beef; a knowledge-based quiz; and an applied team problem.
- State Stockmen's Contest
- Block & Bridle Stockmen's Contest
- State Fair of Virginia Skill-a-thons
- Other Extension Sponsored Stockmen's Contests
- Skyline Stockmen's Contest
- Southwest Stockmen's Contest
Livestock judging contests consist of market and breeding animals, including beef, meat goats, sheep, and swine. Participants rank the animals in the classes, answer questions on chosen classes, and deliver sets of oral reasons from memory.
- State 4-H Livestock Judging Contest
- Block & Bridle Livestock Judging Contest
- Other Extension Sponsored Livestock Judging Contests
- Northern District Livestock Judging Contest
Meats judging contests consist of retail meat identification and judging of retail meat cuts and carcasses. Retail meat identification consists of identifying the species, primal cut, retail cut and cookery method. Judging requires the participants to rank the meat in the classes, answer questions on chosen classes, and deliver sets of oral reasons from memory.
- State 4-H & State FFA Meats Judging Contest (held in conjunction with the Block & Bridle Contests)
Youth Poultry Judging offers youth the ability to rank classes of production hens and market broilers, and give oral reasons from memory on one or two of the classes. They grade ready-to-cook broiler carcasses, turkey carcasses, candled eggs, broken-out eggs and exterior eggs. They are also asked to identify mixed broiler parts.
- State 4-H & State FFA Poultry Judging Contest (held in conjunction with the Youth Poultry Convention)
The youth cattle working contest develops youth skills in animal management and handling. Working as a team, youth efficiently process three stocker calves utilizing Beef Quality Assurance guidelines. Regional competitions are held in the spring throughout the state; the top teams from each region then compete at the State Youth Cattle Working Contest held in conjunction with the Junior Beef Roundup.
The Livestock Quiz Bowl is a competition that tests the knowledge youth possess regarding beef, sheep, swine, and meat goat topics. Teams compete in a single elimination format and use a buzzer to signify that they would like to attempt to answer a question. Oral answers are given to questions posed by a moderator. Each match has an individual, team and toss-up question round.
Virginia 4-H Livestock Programs Endowment
The Virginia 4-H Foundation is spearheading the advancement of the Virginia 4-H Youth Livestock Programs Endowment. 4-H livestock programming is funded through a combination of private gifts, endowment income, gifts in kind, and participant fees.