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Summary

During the 2019-2020 school year 2,214 4-H and FFA members gained hands on experience through state livestock projects by exhibiting 4,895 head of livestock.

Situation

With every passing generation, young people are being further removed from production agriculture. This further separates youth from the source of animal products, animal production methods, economic impacts and environmental issues of animal production. State livestock projects provide an experiential learning approach to animal production agriculture. Furthermore, research shows that soft skills are desired by employers when hiring new applicants. Youth livestock projects develop students’ communication, team work, leadership and decision making skills.

Response

University of Georgia’s Animal & Dairy Science Department and 4-H Program in cooperation with the State Department of Education and FFA Program offer state livestock projects to members of each youth organization. Youth have the opportunity to participate in the beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, sheep, and/or goat project each year. Youth maintain primary care of their project animal(s) for upwards of two years learning the ins and outs of animal agriculture. These projects often lead to soft skill development opportunities such as District Project Achievement, public speaking, quiz bowls, and record keeping.

Impact

During the 2019-2020 school year 2,214 4-H and FFA members exhibited 4,895 animal projects. The State Market Lamb and Market Goat Show, held in conjunction with the 2019 Georgia National Fair, had 580 youth entered with 413 lambs and 823 goats. 1,922 exhibitors were entered in the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show held in February 2020. During the GJNLS 351 youth entered 564 beef heifers, 156 youth entered 186 steers, 31 youth entered 33 market heifers, 243 youth entered 300 commercial dairy heifers, 1,100 youth entered 2,047 market hogs, 116 youth entered 229 ewes, and 183 youth entered 300 does.

State Issue

Animal Production

Details

  • Year: 2020
  • Geographic Scope: State
  • County: Clarke
  • Location: College Station, Athens
  • Program Areas:
    • 4-H Youth
    • Agriculture & Natural Resources

Author

  • Loughridge, Sarah Elizabeth

Collaborator(s)

CAES Collaborator(s)

  • Bohlen, Jillian
  • Dove, C. Robert
  • Duggin, Jason
  • Knight, Carole Hicks
  • Shultz, Heather K.
  • Stewart, Lawton

Non-CAES Collaborator(s)

  • Ben Lastly
  • Christa Steinkamp
  • Kent Benson
  • Niki Whitley
  • Philip Gentry
  • Ricky Wheeler
  • Shawn Collins
  • Todd Claxton
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