4-H Livestock Program
The Mississippi 4-H Livestock Program is a unique opportunity to use animals and educational projects to enhance youth development. The main objectives of the program deal with the young people, not the animals. Participants learn about agriculture and livestock production, and they develop an appreciation for the livestock industry; the main objectives, however, are to teach life skills and help 4-H'ers become productive citizens of our society. The experience of children owning and working with animals; being responsible for their care, health, and growth; and exhibiting them in a competitive environment is a tremendous character-building process. Young people participate in the major animal science projects of beef, dairy, sheep, swine, horse, dairy goats, meat goats, and meat science. In addition to the animal projects, 4-H'ers participate in a variety of judging, quiz bowl, communication, expressive arts, and other livestock-oriented contests to demonstrate their knowledge and skills acquired by working with livestock.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A long-time volunteer with the Mississippi 4-H program is the American Youth Horse Council Adult Leader of the Year.
Tom McBeath of Union, Mississippi, received the honor at the recent American Youth Horse Council symposium in Wakefield, Massachusetts. He has spent nearly four decades working with youth to establish strong foundations for successful experiences with horses.
VERONA, Miss. -- "Practice makes perfect" is the adage organizers of the 4-H Winter Classic believe sums up the 10-year-old horse show that helps 4-H horse program participants prepare for the formal summer show season.
The Winter Classic is open to all Mississippi 4-H'ers. It provides young people an opportunity to participate in two shows per month from January to March before the formal Mississippi 4-H Horse Shows begin in June. The Winter Classic and the Mississippi 4-H Horse Shows are part of the Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H youth development program.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service will host four clinics for 4-H'ers interested in competing in two new performance classes at the 2017 Mississippi 4-H Horse Show.
Extension equine specialist Clay Cavinder will be the primary instructor at the workshops, which will teach 4-H members the rules and scope of the two classes: Ranch Handling and Cow Horse Boxing.
JACKSON, Miss. -- Before Carson Keene sold his grand champion Duroc hog at the Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions, he had a conversation with his family about where the proceeds should go.
The 12-year-old 4-H'er and sixth-grader at Presbyterian Christian School in Petal had known for several months that his 6-year-old schoolmate Noelle Carter was awaiting treatment at Batson Children's Hospital for liver cancer. He decided to donate the auction proceeds to Carter's family.
“Our school was raising money, and I wanted to try to do something, too,” Keene said.
LAUREL, Miss. -- Win or lose, competing in livestock shows would not be possible without the help of others.
"Everyone helps everyone else," said Rustin Anderson, 17, of Jones County. "We're all like family, even though we are competing against each other."
Anderson, who has been showing Brangus cattle since 2009, is highly involved with the Jones County 4-H program. He serves as president of the junior livestock exhibitors for the county. He said the family atmosphere is what makes the program unique.
The 2017 Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions saw 43 champion market animals auctioned at the annual sale. During the weeklong 2017 Dixie National Livestock Show in Jackson, judges selected 14 hogs, 10 goats, 10 lambs, and 9 steers for the sale.
When third-generation cattleman Joe Davis was a teen, he had no idea his competition in the show ring would one day be his Extension agent in Union County.
Cayleb and Landry Dyess are two of only a handful of siblings ever to have two grand champion animals auctioned in the same Dixie National Sale of Champions, but they prepare for each event the same way as every 4-H’er who competes.
They start getting ready for the next show the day after they come home from the last one.