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.
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.
Many of Mississippi’s annual traditions were interrupted this year due to COVID-19, but the Mississippi State Fair Livestock Show will go on.
There’s always something new happening in the world of Extension. This time, the spotlight is on a new workshop: “From Micro to Macro: Growing Ag Literacy.”
Before we get into the specifics, you might be asking, “what is ag literacy and why is it important?” (Photo by Kevin Hudson)
The Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions began in 1969 as a conversation between two Mississippi State University livestock specialists dedicated to building better youth through livestock programs.
For the 50th anniversary of the sale, the record-breaking total amount earned was $382,775. While the animals in the sale are impressive, the 4-H’ers are even more astounding.
When FARMtastic makes its rounds over South Mississippi, residents, businesses, schools, and community organizations come together to ensure that participants have a great time.
Miss Rodeo America 2019 Taylor McNair is the official spokesperson for the sport of professional rodeo. A native of Learned, Mississippi, McNair will travel more than 100,000 miles to attend more than 100 rodeos over the course of her term. She shares how the 10 years she spent in Hinds County 4-H prepared her for her career.
“You know that saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’? Well, it takes a village to raise a goat, because it’s a kid!” Tyler Branch says with a smile.
A senior at the Mississippi School for Math and Science, Tyler knows this truth from experience. His 4-H career centered around showing Boer goats.
Greg Chambers is one Mississippi producer who’s focused on innovating. Whether he’s growing soybeans and wheat on his Prentiss County property or raising cattle and goats on other acres, Chambers is always looking for a better, more efficient way of doing things.