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4-H Livestock Judging Manual

Publication Number: P2289
View as PDF: P2289.pdf

Livestock judging is a process of evaluating, selecting, placing, and learning the various livestock species–beef cattle, sheep, and swine. Judging is the foundation of any 4-H livestock project. Feeding, exercising, grooming, and showing the animal are all important aspects of your 4-H project; however, none may be as exciting as selecting your project animal. Selection of project animals is actually judging livestock, comparing the merits of one animal against the merits of other potential project animals. This selection process is just one of many applications of livestock evaluation and judging.

Livestock producers, breeders, feeders, buyers, and packers evaluate livestock for their potential as either breeding or market animals. These people try to relate the “form” of an animal with the “function” for which it is intended to serve. That is why livestock judging is often called the application of “form and function” to livestock.

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