Livestock Triathlon

Livestock Triathlon

4-H Agriculture and Natural Resources programs work to engage youth through hands-on experiences that connect to their lives and respond to their interests. 4-H programs use hands-on activities in animal science, agronomy, and the environment to teach problem-solving, creative and critical thinking, and inspire young people to explore career opportunities in agriculture.

2025 TBD

Location: Iowa State University in Ames, IA | Hansen Ag Center and Kildee Hall
Cost: $60/team or $15/individual for Livestock Judging | $40/team for Quiz Bowl, Skillathon | $100/team to participate in all three contests
*Financial assistance available for youth registration fees.

What to Expect

The Iowa 4-H State Livestock Triathlon combines the state 4-H livestock judging contest, livestock skillathon and livestock quiz bowl competitions in one weekend event. 4-H members in 4th-12th grades can test and demonstrate their livestock knowledge. Awards will be given in each contest, in addition to overall sweepstakes awards to the high point individual in all three contests.

This is the qualifying event that selects senior-aged youth who will represent Iowa at each of the national 4-H livestock contests.

Event Materials

General Rules and Schedule

Triathlon Sweepstakes
  • Teams and individuals participating in all three events are eligible for additional prizes and awards through the Triathlon Sweepstakes Contest.
  • Rules for the Triathlon Sweepstakes and coaches guide can be found here.
Livestock Judging
  • Livestock judging consists of analyzing beef cattle, sheep, swine and meat goats and measuring them against a standard. It is the study of the relationship between an animal’s form and function. Livestock judging has two primary components 1) placing a group of animals and 2) orally justifying your decision.
  • Rules and Resources
Livestock Quiz Bowl
  • Livestock quiz bowl is a team event for 4th-12th graders where they test their knowledge of beef, sheep, swine, and meat goats. Students use a buzzer to answer questions and the teams compete in a double-elimination format by providing oral answers to questions presented by a moderator.
  • Rules and Resources
Livestock Skillathon
  • Skillathons enhance learning through the use of hands-on activities. Youth practice critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills while gaining the opportunity to achieve project goals, build-self confidence and earn recognition. Livestock Skillathon is made up of a written quiz and learning stations such as breed identification, quality assurance, selection, meat evaluation and other livestock skills.
  • Rules and Resources


Celine Beggs-Shoemaker