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Virginia 4-H Livestock Programs Endowment

Virginia 4-H Youth Livestock Program Endowment (pdf)

The Virginia 4-H Foundation is spearheading the advancement of the Virginia 4-H Youth Livestock Programs Endowment.

  • These programs have more than 2,900 youth participants at an average cost per youth of $9.10.
  • 4-H livestock programming is funded through a combination of private gifts, endowment income, gifts in kind, and participant fees.

4-H members 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.

State Stockmen’s Contest

This 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 Livestock Judging Contest

This contest consists of classes of market and breeding animals, including sheep, swine, beef, and meat goats. Participants rank the animals in the classes, answer questions on chosen classes, and deliver sets of oral reasons from memory.

State Youth Cattle Working Contest

This event develops youth skills in animal management and handling. Working as a team, youth efficiently process three stocker calves utilizing Beef Quality Assurance guidelines.

State All-Star Livestock Judging Team

The top eight livestock judges in Virginia are selected to compete at the national level in several contests across the country. The team practices and competes throughout the fall.

Block & Bridle Contests

The 4-H youth livestock Extension specialist supports these contests by assisting Virginia Tech undergraduate students with planning and coordinating the contests. The two-day event includes stockmen’s and meats judging contests as well as a livestock judging contest.

Virginia Beef Expo

This event consists of cattle showmanship and showing of purebreds, commercial heifers, and market steers by the youth. A stockmen’s contest tests youths’ comprehensive livestock knowledge through identification classes of meats, feeds, and breeds and a knowledge-based quiz.

Virginia Youth Livestock Leadership Forum

This event is intended to increase knowledge and self-efficacy in youth with the goal of developing advocates and leaders for livestock industries.

Virginia Junior Livestock Expo

A culminating event for youth livestock projects, this event allows youth to exhibit their cattle, sheep, meat goats, and swine and compete in showmanship.

Proposed Virginia Youth Livestock Programs

Program Cost ($)

Youth Livestock Advisory Council
Curriculum Development/Awards 6,100
Volunteer Development Training 2,500
Statewide Meat Quality Assurance 3,000
4-H Livestock Judging Camps 3,000
Species-Specific Showmanship Camps 2,000
Junior Species-Specific Project Days 2,000
Virginia Tech Field Days 4,000
Total potential program costs 25,700
Increased current programming




Annual costs of additional programming



Youth Livestock Advisory Council

The advisory council would serve as the steering committee for the Virginia Youth Livestock Program. The committee would meet to discuss current and potential programs and give guidance to the youth livestock Extension specialist.

Curriculum Development/Awards

The curriculum development and awards committee would serve to provide input and gather information to improve the curriculum, records, and awards for youth. The committee would meet four times the first year and two times the second year to develop materials and publish curriculum to be used statewide.

Volunteer Development Training

Training for volunteers develops their skills to enhance youth programming. The volunteer development training would include workshops to increase knowledge of risk management, youth development, and livestock competition management. It would also help them gather and develop enhanced youth livestock programming that they could take back to their local clubs.

Statewide Meat Quality Assurance

Training on meat quality assurance (MQA) would be implemented to increase the knowledge that youth have regarding their role in ensuring the safety of the food supply. Training for agents and advisors would be offered in each district the first year, with annual training provided thereafter. Agents and advisors would serve as trainers on the local level. A statewide database would be developed to ensure that youth showing in state-level shows are MQA-certified.

Virginia Tech Field Days

Field days would offer youth the opportunity to participate in a multiday event that would include livestock evaluation followed by educational workshops at the Meat Science Center. The meat science training would include evaluation and discussion of the carcasses of animals used the previous day for live evaluation.

Youth Judging Camps

Camps would be offered for youth interested in increasing their knowledge and ability in stockmen’s, meats, and livestock judging. The camps would be one- to two-day events and would offer small-group instruction for youth and coaches.

Species-Specific Showmanship Camps

Livestock showmanship camps would allow youth to gain detailed knowledge for improving their animal husbandry skills, increasing their knowledge of animal nutrition, and providing hands-on opportunities to improve their fitting, clipping, and showmanship skills. One species camp would be offered yearly on a rotational basis.

Junior Species-Specific Project Days

Youth would have the opportunity to participate in species specific educational workshops and quality assurance trainings. Each project day would provide an opportunity for youth to develop their knowledge and understanding of animal health, reproduction, genetics, nutrition, and leadership.



Katherine Carter
Extension Youth Animal Science Specialist
(540) 231-2257

Scott Greiner
Extension Animal Science Specialist
(540) 231-9159


Hunter Liles
Extension Youth Animal Science Associate
(540) 231-6345



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.

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