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.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Not so long ago, goats were niche livestock animals in Mississippi. But these small ruminants have grown in popularity in recent years, especially dairy goats. Farmers who have limited acreage or want to diversify their livestock operations often choose goats. Others want goats for their meat or milk. Regardless of the purpose, people who want to join the ranks of goat owners should understand some important aspects of goat ownership before bringing one home.
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.”
She grew up in the 4-H youth development program in Indiana, and her husband was in Ohio 4-H. Fast-forward a few years, and Inez Saum became a volunteer leader for Mississippi 4-H.
Reading, writing, and arithmetic are important, and so is knowing where your food comes from, how to grow it yourself, and how to harvest and prepare it. Veteran educator Jana Everett believes children need to learn all these lessons.
The 4-H Poultry Chain Project regularly receives generous donations from organizations across the state, but the project has never received a donation quite like Southern AgCredit’s pledge of $25,000 over 5 years.
The 2023 Dixie National Junior Round-Up, held annually in February at the Jackson fairgrounds, hosted 1,257 young people, including more than 1,000 4-H’ers, showing 2,153 head of livestock. Animals shown included beef and dairy cattle; meat, dairy, and Boer goats; hogs; and lambs. In addition, 4-H hosted its first-ever rabbit show.