Livestock Rules & Regulations

Effective January 1st, 1998

Adapted April 1st, 2009


All animals exhibited in the 4-H classes must be owned or in possession of the 4-H member by the closing enrollment date for that animal project. The enrollment date for market beef, both heifer and steers is March 31st. The enrollment deadline for all other livestock: breeding beef, baby beef, dairy cattle, goats, poultry, rabbits, sheep, swine and dogs is May 31st. A 4-H member must be 8 years old by January 1st to be eligible to participate in any of the live animal project areas.

All market animals must be weighed in, tagged and tattooed at the county weigh-in or by special arrangements made prior to the county weigh-in. Or, they may be identified by a picture and description (such as color, sex, county 4-H or other ear tag # or tattoo #) prior to the closing of enrollment date of that species. The 4-H member may be asked to present the picture and legal description to the weigh-in committee at the county Achievement Days. Failure to meet weigh-in or the picture and identification rule will automatically drop the animal one placing and eliminate them from being eligible for Grand and Reserve Champion and State Fair Eligibility.


4-H members, parents, and leaders are expected to always provide proper care and treatment in handling, feeding, watering, transporting and showing of their 4-H animals. All efforts should be made to reduce stressful situations for your 4-H animals whenever and wherever possible.


One of the basic principles of 4-H is for the 4-H member to learn by doing. This can happen best when parents and other interested adults encourage the 4-Hers to do their own project work with guidance and advice from the adults as needed.


All beef, swine, sheep, goats, dog, cat, rabbits, poultry and dairy animals must have a health certificate issued by a licensed, accredited veterinarian within 30 days prior to the 4-H County Achievement Days. Properly filled out health certificates must be presented at entry time. ** All sheep and goats must have an official USDA scrapie tag in order to be exhibited.


All livestock needs to be entered at the proper time and all market livestock will be weighed-in as they are entered.


All exhibitors are expected to be on time when their class is called. After judging of the class has started, the exhibitor will not have the privilege of having the exhibit judged. A 4-H member must show all animals. Adults will not be allowed to exhibit 4-H livestock. Substitute showmen must be 4-H members from Sanborn County, and must meet age requirements.


All 4-H showmen MUST wear hard-soled leather boots or shoes, long pants (blue or black) and a shirt with sleeves (no advertisements on the shirt). No tennis shoes, sandals, caps, hats, or sunglasses will be allowed in the show ring. Dress code will be enforced and if you are not dressed properly you will be disqualified from the show!!


Showmanship contests will be held in beef, dairy, swine, sheep, poultry, and rabbits. Members will be judged on their ability to show their animals to the best advantage at all times, fitting of the animals, attentiveness in the show ring, and personal grooming.

Senior showmanship will be held first, followed by junior showmanship, and last will be beginner showmanship.


Only the 4-H member, member in immediate family, member in the same club or club leader may perform fitting, blocking, clipping, etc. on 4-H animals while they are housed on the grounds. The 4-H exhibitor must be present while such fitting is being done.


The management reserves the right to reduce animal ribbon placing, withhold premium money and eligibility for showmanship recognition to any 4-H livestock exhibitor who has fitted or attempted to fit the animal in an unethical manner. Unethical fitting shall include, but may not be limited to, the use of artificial tail fans, artificial polls, false tails or the addition of any hair or hair-like substance to any part of the animal s body. Dying or coloring of the animal which may make breed determination difficult or true color uncertain, and the use of any grooming material that allows color to come off the animal. 4-H members are reminded that it is considered an unethical practice to use any drugs on market meat animals that would leave an illegal residue in the meat of such market animals. This includes, but is not limited to such drugs as painkillers, anabolic steroids, diuretics, etc. If there is a question on the legal use of a drug, DON T USE IT. Artificial Filling Stomach tubing, pumping or other methods of artificial filling of 4-H livestock prior to weighing or showing will not be allowed.


All 4-H livestock exhibitors must furnish their own livestock feed, tack, trimming chutes, etc. Livestock may be fed any time but in the case of cattle, it is recommended they be fed between 6:00 PM and 10:00 AM when they are at their tie-out locations. Spilled grain and left over hay should be cleaned up. Equipment should be kept safe for the public, covers and shields must be on all fans and belts used in and around the show barns.



All animals to be exhibited in 4-H must be broke to lead and docile enough to be around the general public. Safety is of primary importance. If a 4-H animal is of questionable behavior at weigh-in time, the committee members and the county educator will be contacted immediately. The 4-H member will be notified that his or her animal may be removed at that time. The animal will be given a chance to settle down overnight. The committee members and the county educator will meet the next morning, view the animal s behavior and decide if the animal can stay or must be removed. All decisions made at this time will be final.


Any 4-H member showing purebred livestock (beef, dairy, sheep, swine, or goat) must submit a copy of the registration papers to the County Extension Office by July 1. Animals must be proven purebred or they will be grouped in the commercial class. This does not include dog, poultry or rabbits.


Each 4-H member, with livestock, is responsible for cleaning out their own stall or pen. Your area must be kept clean and presentable at all times. Individuals who do not clean their pens may have their premium monies forfeited. All animals will have pen assignments and will only be released by the building supervisor after pens are clean. Every 4-H member showing livestock will be responsible for clean up of their area following the livestock release time.


Audra Scheel, 4-H/Youth Advisor
Sherryl Rankin, Secretary

 Phone: (605) 796-4380

PO Box 397
Woonsocket SD  57385-0397


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