Beef 4-H Project Ideas

4-H Project Ideas for Beef

Source: University of Minnesota Extension

Ideas for Your Project:

1. Visit a farm with cattle.  Talk to the owner and discover how he got interested in raising beef cattle and what he likes most/least about his job. You might also ask to visit his herd.

2. Attend the Livestock Project Days.  You'll have the opportunity to learn from cattle experts and those that have shown beef for many years. You'll gain helpful hints in the selection of your project, proper nutrition and care of cattle, good showmanship techniques, and getting your animal ready for the county fair. 

3. Take your cattle for daily walks. When a steer, heifer, or cow enters the show ring, it's easy to determine if they've been well trained or not. Spend time early on getting to know your animal and working with it, and it will cooperate much better in the show ring.

4. Learn about some of the diseases that cattlemen try to protect their cattle herd from contracting.

5. Visit a local slaughterhouse and see if you can get a tour of their facility. Ask the owner or employees about the process for a live steer or heifer to become hamburger on the grocery store shelf.

6. Get a cattle dog.  Train your dog to herd your cattle out to pasture and into the barn at night.  Also train your dog to guard your cattle during the day.

7. It's important to get your animal the proper nutrition it needs.  Talk to Dale Thoreson, Dairy/Beef and Forage Field Specialist for ISU Extension, or visit your local farmer's co-op and talk to a nutritionist. They can help you determine what kind of rations your animal is going to need.

8.  Search for recipes calling for beef in cookbooks or online. Surprise your family by cooking a special meal for them and include beef in all of the dishes.

9.  Take a trip to the local grocery store.  Check out their selection of meat cuts.  Once you get home, research what area of the cow each of these cuts comes from.  Compare the areas where the choice steaks come from versus the ground hamburger.  Why do you think it's important to protect certain areas of a steer's body when giving injections and moving them?

10.  Research the uses of by-products from beef.  Create a list of foods and products that use beef by-products.  Add in some products that don't use beef and test your family and friends.

11. The Extension Office have beef project books or check out the list of ISU Extension publications. These books are full of hands-on ideas for you to learn more about your beef project.

Links to Visit for Further Information and Ideas:

***Please note: these are non-ISU Extension web sties.

The Iowa Beef Center began operation in 1996 to support the growth and vitality of Iowa's beef cattle industry, and serves as the central access point for Iowa State University and ISU Extension programs and research related to the beef industry.

Iowa Cattleman's Association: your link fo reverything beef related.

American Angus AssociationGet the latest news and information on Angus cattle.

American Gelbvieh Assocation:  Click here for information on Gelbvieh cattle.

American Hereford Assocation:  The site for all your Hereford information.

American-International Charolais Association:  Check out the Charolais breed here.

American Maine-Anjou Association:  The official site of the Maine-Anjou breed.

American Shorthorn Association:  To find information on Shorthorn cattle, click here.

American Simmental Association:  Official website of the ASA.

Beef - It's What's for Dinner:  Click here for beef recipes, nutrition information, and cooking tips.

Beef Management and Marketing:  Find publications and other information on beef.  Information is from the University of Minnesota Extension Service.

National Cattlemen's Beef Association:  Learn all about beef and find links to other beef related sites.

North American Limosin Foundation:  Look here for information on Limosin cattle.

If you need more help or ideas, we have a variety of resources for you in the Extension Office. Feel free to stop by or give us a call at 563-568-6345.

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