4-H Livestock Projects

There is an incredible variety in the types of livestock projects available to 4-Hers. They can be short or long term, animals can be as small as a chicken or as large as a full grown cow, youth can do hands on projects with an animal or hone their public speaking skills by sharing their knowledge with others. No matter the animal or project, livestock projects require dedication, responsibility, and teamwork. Youth have opportunities to show their animals at the New York State Fair and demonstrate their knowledge through different hands-on contests and activities.

Livestock Species

black beef cows

Youth can learn about beef production and marketing through a 4-H beef project.

a calf lies in the straw.

4-Hers interested in Dairy have many opportunities to learn about the dairy industry, work with other youth, and put their knowledge to work with hands-on activities at both the local and statewide levels. Youth raise and show dairy project animals, study and compete in judging, dairy challenge, and quiz bowl, and attend educational programs such as Dairy Discovery and Animal Crackers.

Goat in field

Youth across New York State work with Dairy, Meat, Fiber, and Working Goats for their 4-H projects. They learn about all types of goats to participate in Goat Bowl events and Achieve the Goat 5-Star 4-H Program Awards.

a child rider lays her head on her horse's neck

The 4-H horse program helps teach youth leadership, biology, and real-world skills. Youth are able to show their horses riding, driving, and in-hand or compete in hippology, horse bowl, and communications events.

Llama in field

Youth have opportunities to raise and show both llamas and alpacas as part of their 4-H experience.

girl with chicken on shoulder

4-H youth interested in poultry and avian species can participate in the home flock program, meat and egg projects, or standard breeders projects.

Rabbit photo

Rabbit projects are suitable for youth of all ages from urban, suburban and rural communities. Lessons include all aspects of rabbit management and the science behind it. Young people learn about animal care, health, nutrition, physiology, breeding, genetics, housing, behavior, record keeping and presenting themselves and their animals to the public.


Sheep 4-H programs give youth an opportunity work with market lambs or production sheep raised for dairy or fiber. The NYS Sheep Achievement Program allows youth to show they have well-rounded sheep knowledge.

boy with pig

Youth swine projects include the Empire Market Hog Program and the swine breeding program.