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Horse Project Leaders Needs Assessment

Equine Science LogoThe Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Equine Program is conducting a statewide Equine Needs Assessment Survey to identify the educational needs of the horse project leaders. We are asking for your thoughts and input on a variety of topics, events and training's related to your role as equine project leaders. The survey results will be used to develop effective, science-based, equine education programs and resources aimed at improving the management and enjoyment of equine. The survey is voluntary, anonymous and should take about 15 minutes. You may skip questions you are not comfortable answering and withdraw from participating at any time. Your responses will not be linked directly to you by name, as all data will be combined and used in summary form only. Thank you for your helping us continue to improve the Iowa 4-H equine project.

Horse Project Leaders Needs Assessment Survey

Area Youth Earn Top Honors at Western National Roundup

2018 3rd place 4-H hippology teamArea youth competed in one of the two 4-H National Horse Judging Contests … Western National Roundup, in Denver, CO January 4-7, 2018.  Mackenzie Berkland, Ruthven; Skyler Morphew, Bancroft; Ariana Umscheid, Terril and Madison Strief from Dubuque County, represented Iowa 4-H. They placed 5th as a team in the performance (riding) classes, 1st as a team in Oral Reasons, and first as a team overall.  Teams came to compete in this contest from across the nation and Canada.

Team members also placed very well individually.  Berkland was High Individual Overall, and received 1st place in Halter and Reasons and 3rd in Performance.  Umscheid placed 3rd in Halter, 5th in Reasons and 8th place Overall.  Morphew was 2nd in Halter and 8th in Reasons.

This contest requires contestants to place in correct order 4 horses in each of 10 different classes including 4 halter classes, western riding, western horsemanship, western pleasure, hunter under saddle, hunt seat equitation, and reining.  Each class has its own set of criteria with different penalties and credits.  Youth then defend their choices on 4 classes by giving oral reasons.  Reasons are evaluated based on accuracy, relevancy, terminology, organization, and presentation.

Judging experiences contribute to the development of critical and logical thinking skills, self-confidence, communication and presentation skills.

Much appreciation goes to the following local businesses and individuals whose support made participating in this trip possible.

Ag Performance Iowa Trust and Savings Bank
Bancroft Implement James and Helen Ricke
Bank Plus Jaycox Implement
Bob Boland Ford Jeremy’s Welding
Buchanan, Bibbler, Gabor and Meis Ken’s Auto Repair
Central States Agency Kollash Repairs
Cornerstone Insurance Kossuth Friends of Kossuth Youth
D & S Pork Noble Medicine
Dietering Brothers North Iowa Lumber
Ed’s Service North Kossuth Auto Supply
Emmet County 4-H Foundation North Star Bank
Fairchild Manufacturing Palo Alto County 4-H Foundation
Farmers and Traders Savings Bank Riverview Trucking
George and Sandy Vaske Rodney and Jodi Smith
GKN S & R Auto
Hager Foods Shear Shack
ILEC Sibley Vet Clinic
Iowa State Bank Standard Nutrition
The State Bank Tigges Chiropractic
VonEhwegen Seed  






















Lisa Berkland |  4-H Youth Development
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

4-H Youth Development Specialist

4H Horse and Pony ID

4-H Horse and Pony ID

  • 4H Horse4-H animals are to be identified by May 15th and State Fair eligible horses need photos uploaded into 4hOnline by May 15th.
  • Read the 4-H 202 publication, “Iowa 4-H Livestock Show Requirements - Animal Identification, Weighing, and Exhibiting Requirements for County, State and Interstate Shows”.
  • Ownership is required of the 4-H animal. However, Horses have an official lease (4H 106 CL) option as a 4-H project. The 4-H’er must complete a lease form. Only showmanship, riding or driving horses are eligible for lease; horses in halter/conformation classes, cannot be leased and must be owned by the 4-H’er.
  • Horse and dog project animals can be identified by more than one 4-H member provided the members are all 4-H members and are siblings. Sibling definition includes brother, sister or step-siblings with one common parent/guardian. The same animal(s) cannot be identified by one sibling in 4-H and another sibling in FFA.
  • Maximum of 5 head can be identified; of those, a max. of 2 may be leased
  • Registration papers are required for State Fair halter classes (upload to 4hOnline or present papers at check-in)

Arena Etiquette

  • Proper spacing is 2 horse lengths or more distance from you and the horse in front of you.
  • If you must stop for tack adjustment or for the rider’s needs, come to the center of the ring to do so.
  • Do not mount or otherwise congregate in the entrance to the riding area.

Animal Science 4-H Horse Roundup

Twelve 4-H members from around the state gathered to participate in Animal Science Roundup this June 23-25. Animal Science Roundup is an extension of the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference that takes place every year at Iowa State University’s campus. The horse section is organized by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Specialist Peggy Auwerda. 

Wrapping a leg
4H Roundup Youth Wrapping a Leg

Students are selected to participate and gain hands-on learning experience. The first day of the program consisted of Nikki Ferwerda, the horse farm supervisor collecting a stallion and discussing semen evaluation. Next, leg models were used to allow youth to practice wrapping legs. The second day consisted of a trip to Prairie Meadows Backside and Track side. Jon Moss, Executive Director of the Iowa H.B.P.A. gave a wonderful tour and discussion of horse racing. The youth were allowed to discuss the horses training on the track, visit the jockeys room and assess equipment, visit the area where urine or blood specimens are obtained from the first or second place finishers after a race and visit the track office where horses are signed up to race. The afternoon consisted of the youth learning to body condition score and measure weight in horses, evaluate a digestive tract and Kirk Hatfield discussed Ranch Riding.

The last day of Animal Science Roundup included a skillathon and quiz bowl where the youth are quizzed over the items they learned about at Roundup.

Prairie Meadows Racetrack Test Barn
Jon Moss and Dr. John Sweeney discussing
the test barn at Prairie Meadows Racetrack &



2020 Equine Extravaganza

We all know that having horses requires more than just jumping on and riding!  One way to help youth get motivated to learn more about the science behind horses is to encourage them to get involved in Equine Extravaganza.

Horse eventsSave the dates for the 2020 Equine Extravaganza – March 20-22!  This is held at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls.  It isn’t too soon to start gathering a team! The following activities are part of this event:          

  • Horse Quiz Bowl – Friday evening
  • Hippology – Saturday
  • Horseless Horse exhibit judging – Saturday
  • Public Speaking contest – Saturday
  • Team and individual Demonstration contest – Saturday
  • Horse Judging Contest – Sunday
  • 4-H Horse Judges certification – Sunday
  • Model Horse - Sunday

Information from previous years is available now on this website:  Please check back for information that will be updated for 2020 shortly after the first of the year.

If you have never participated before, consider attending this year and observing or if you don’t mind jumping in, consider encouraging youth to participate! 

Additional resources for quiz bowl and Hippology include:

If you are looking to start a horse judging team, consider checking out some of these resources:

Video Resources:

Some great publications: 

Online subscription resources:

Lastly, if you haven’t joined our 4-H Horse Project Leaders Facebook page, please consider this your invitation to do so!

Lisa Berkland | IA

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

4-H Youth Development Specialist

2008 10th Street

Emmetsburg, IA 51358

Iowa 4-H Livestock State Fair

2020 Fair Special Edition: Iowa 4-H and FFA Livestock Show

In the spirit of tradition, the Iowa State Fairgrounds are excited to host the 2020 Fair Special Edition: Iowa 4-H and FFA Livestock Show. Held with the same prestige and competition found at the Iowa State Fair, this 2020 Special Edition will showcase the superior showmanship, hard work, and determination of Iowa’s 4-H and FFA youth. This Special Edition show will follow all Iowa Department of Public Health and CDC recommendations for social distancing, hand washing and sanitization, so although it will be held in August and on the Iowa State Fairgrounds, you may notice some “special” considerations for this stand-alone event.

Purpose: To support the mission statement of the Iowa State Fair by providing an opportunity for Iowa 4-H and FFA youth to showcase their hard work and livestock projects.

Eligibility:  Open to Iowa 4-H and FFA exhibitors that have nominated/identified livestock projects for the 2020 Iowa State Fair. Shows will be available for the following:      

  • FFA Beef
  • FFA Horse
  • FFA Meat Goat
  • FFA Poultry*
  • FFA Rabbit*
  • FFA Sheep
  • FFA Swine
  • FFA & 4-H Dairy Cattle
  • FFA & 4-H Dairy Goats
  • 4-H Beef
  • 4-H Horse
  • 4-H Meat Goat
  • 4-H Poultry*
  • 4-H Rabbit
  • 4-H Sheep
  • 4-H Swine

*nomination not required

Schedule: The 4-H and FFA livestock shows will happen over three weekends in August.

  • August 6, 7, 8: FFA Beef, FFA Horse, 4-H Rabbit, FFA Rabbit, 4-H Sheep, FFA Sheep, Youth Dairy Cattle
  • August 13, 14, 15: 4-H Horse, 4-H Meat Goat, FFA Meat Goat, FFA Poultry, FFA Swine
  • August 20, 21, 22: 4-H Beef, 4-H Poultry, 4-H Swine, Youth Dairy Goat

The new schedule allows more room for exhibitors to try to obey social distancing recommendations.  The separation of the shows allows for the Fairgrounds to be cleaned thoroughly between sessions.   

**As mentioned before, some shows and competitions will not be offered for 2020. This includes the 4-H Dog Show (we are looking at alternative dates/locations), all carcass and/or performance contests including 4-H Beef of Merit, Sheep Carcass Contest; Livestock Skillathons, and non-show competitions (no poster presentations, etc.) and no Showmanship classes will be conducted this year. Just simply the livestock shows themselves.

Attendees: For crowd control purposes each exhibitor will receive 3 wristbands total. A limited number of wristbands will be available to show supporters.  A $100 donation to the show will grant the donor 2 wristbands good for all three sessions August 6-22.  More information will be available soon. 

Wristbands will be required to access the Fairgrounds. Wristbands will not be available on site. 
No additional fees for admission or parking will be charged

4-H Entry:

  • 4-H exhibitors will enter through the Fair Entry system as in past years
  • Entry will be open Monday, June 22nd
  • Entry Deadline: July 10th (extended from July 1 in past years)

Entry fees

Since no admission or parking will be charged to exhibitors this year, and with very limited revenue coming into the State Fair, entry fees will increase for 2020 to the following:

  • 4-H Beef                         $35
  • 4-H Horse                     $25/head + $5/class
  • 4-H Meat Goat             $15
  • 4-H Poultry                    $5
  • 4-H Rabbit                     $5
  • 4-H Sheep                     $15
  • 4-H Swine                      $15

Exhibitor Communication:  Follow show information on Facebook under 2020 Fair Special Edition: Iowa 4-H and FFA Livestock Show or Text SHOW to 75782 

Generators:  No auxiliary generators will be provided by the State Fair.

Parking: Parking will be allowed on the fairgrounds in designated areas at no cost.  All persons in the vehicle must have a wristband to enter the Fairgrounds.  Wristbands will NOT be available on site.  

Trailer Parking: Trailers parking will be available on grounds in designated areas at no cost. 

Premiums and Ribbons: CHANGE for 2020: The Danish Ribbon systems will still be used – exhibitors will receive the typical Purple, Blue, Red, White in each class. However, monetary premiums will be paid only to the top 3 placings in each class across all divisions. 

Species-Specific Rule Changes:

Exhibitors will notice some key changes for 2020 in certain species. For instance, due to no market outlet, market swine will not be loaded out for harvest. All shows will be non-terminal for 2020. The only exception will be for the following which are scheduled to be harvested at the Iowa State University Meat Lab: Grand and Reserve Grand Champion 4-H Market Steer; Grand and Reserve Grand 4-H Champion Market Heifer; Grand and Reserve Grand Champion 4-H Market Hog; Grand and Reserve Grand Champion 4-H Market Lamb; Grand and Reserve Grand Champion 4-H Broiler (Special); Grand Champion  4-H Market Meat Goat; Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion FFA Market Lamb; Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion FFA Market Hog; Grand Champion FFA Market Meat Goat.

Other Amenities:  A small variety of food and show supply vendors will be available.  

Accommodations and Camping:

COVID-19 Precautions:

  • All employees, exhibitors, vendors, and patrons must closely follow all rules, guidelines, and advice set forth by the United States Federal Government, CDC, State of Iowa Governor’s Office, Iowa Department of Public Health, ESA (Event Safety Alliance), and the IISC (Iowa Illinois Safety Council).  It is strongly encouraged that volunteers, participants, and families use face coverings and practice physical distancing
  • Some rows or sections of seating may be blocked off in order to space people at least 6 feet apart
  • Lines or queues will be eliminated where possible or encourage people to stay at least 6 feet apart by providing signs or other visual cues such as tape or chalk marks
  • Frequent handwashing with soap and water is greatly encouraged.  If soap and water is not available hand sanitation stations will be placed throughout the barns and show arenas
  • Cleaning and sanitization of all frequently touched surfaces will occur during the set-up and throughout the duration of the event

4-H Livestock Show Volunteers:

I know many county staff has been gracious in assisting the 4-H Livestock crew in years past with helping during check-ins, shows, and a host of other things. I will once again need some help in those areas, especially with our Fair Entry system. I will be editing and posting a new Google Doc sign-up sheet for county staff (or general volunteers) that would like to help this year. Admission wristbands will be provided. We are still working out details on food/meals for our staff and volunteers. More to come on that aspect.

Again, I know there are several other questions and details everyone is wondering about. Some we have answers to, some we do not quite yet. I will plan on having a “Mike’s Livestock Office Hours” very soon to help answer questions on fairs and shows happening at the county or state level.

Thank you again for your patience and we will all get this pulled together for our 4-H and FFA youth to have a positive exhibition experience!

Mike Anderson
State 4-H Livestock Program Specialist
1259 Stange Rd.
Ames, IA 50011