Swine 4-H Project Ideas

4-H Project Ideas - Swine

Source: University of Minnesota Extension

Ideas for Your Project:

1. Visit a hog farmer. Talk to him to discover how he got interested in raising hogs and what he likes most/least about his job. You might also ask to visit his herd.

2. Do some research on biosecurity and why this might be important to a hog farmer. Learn about some of the diseases that hog farmers try to protect their swine herd from contracting.

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

4. Contact a member of the Iowa Pork Producers Association to learn more about the efforts they are taking to promote the pork industry.

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

6. 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 hog to become bacon on the grocery store shelf.

7. Try to teach your hog tricks. Pigs have a sweet tooth, too, and many of them like lard. You can actually teach them how to sit and beg for it, just like a dog. You might teach them other tricks, too.

8. Take your hogs for daily walks. When a hog 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 hog and working with him, and he'll cooperate much better in the show ring.

9. Several fictional books, poems, skits, and more have been written about pigs over the years. Read one and compare the fictional pig to your real-life project. How are they different and how are they similar?

10. While it's true that some pigs will eat almost anything, they do need nutritious foods, too. Talk to Mark Storlie, Swine 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.

11.  The Extension Office have pork project books (scroll to the very bottom) or check out the list of ISU Extension publications. These books are full of hands-on ideas for you to learn more about your swine project.


Links to Visit for Further Information and Ideas:

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

Iowa Pork Industry Center

Iowa Pork Producers Association

American Berkshire Association: Click here for more information on the Berkshire breed.

Certified Pedigreed Swine: Get information about the Chester White, Poland China, and Spotted Swine Breed Associations.

National Pork Producers Council: The council for America's pork producers. They promote the pork industry nationwide.

National Swine Registry: Get information about the American Landrace Association, American Yorkshire Club, Hampshire Swine Registry, American Berkshire Association, and United Duroc Swine Registry.

Pork Magazine: The business magazine for professional pork producers.

Swine Housing & Production: The University of Minnesota Extension's webpage for housing information.

Swine Production: Check here for information from the University of Minnesota Extension on raising hogs.

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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