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.
JACKSON, Miss. -- Since the age of 7, Smith County 4-H’er Chase Boone has been showing mostly Simmental cattle in the Dixie National Junior Round-Up each year.
He is now a high school senior who will soon be moving on to college but not before a final appearance in one of his favorite livestock show events. He ended up exhibiting two supreme champion livestock -- the supreme beef female and the supreme beef bull -- and was named one of six premier exhibitors.
It was a successful send-off, if not a bittersweet one.
Farm supply stores are full of cute chicks in the spring, and the sight of the fluffy baby birds, combined with future dreams of fresh eggs, prompts many people to impulsively start a backyard flock.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Keeping buffalo wings on menus is a supply chain issue that goes all the way back to procedures farm workers follow to protect the health of commercially grown chickens.
JACKSON, Miss. -- Lily and Emma Grace Putnam raised their Mississippi-bred reserve champion lamb in their Sunflower County pasture, which they recently finished fencing in with the help of loans and grants.
“We have always had the land and have been pasturing it in piece by piece as we’ve been able to, but we needed to complete the fencing this year so we could finish breeding our ewes,” said Lily Putnam, a Sunflower County 4-H’er based in Sunflower County. “The loan was helpful to me because we used it to buy equipment to get ready for lambing and start a breeding business.”
Dairy goats make up a niche market of the Mississippi livestock industry, but their popularity is growing across the state. Interest has grown among 4-H livestock program members, people who participate in various other showmanship contests and people who want goat milk products.
The 2022 Sale of Champions generated a preliminary total of $448,500, approximately $40,000 more than last year and the highest ever.
Leaving a Lasting Legacy
Former Simpson County 4-H’er highlights Extension agent’s legacy
Children notice everything, and they remember. When children watch a man use his personal resources and take extra time just for them, when they listen to his words of encouragement through disappointments and triumphs, and when they watch him demonstrate boundless patience whatever the circumstance, those children remember.
Investing in the future
Whether it’s in time, resources, hard work, or even patience, investment is at the center of showing livestock.
4-H offers family time, life lessons
Raising championship hogs is a family tradition for Humphreys County 4-H’er Nic Carter, and the college freshman is leaving big boots for his sister and cousins to fill.
Four generations of 4-H’ers span the century
Mississippi State University Extension celebrated its centennial in 2014. The organization has touched countless lives in the last 100 years, including four generations of 4-H’ers in one family