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4-H Animal Projects Self-Identification Process FAQ

What is 4-H animal project Self-Identification?

To promote youth project management through accountability and hands-on experience, self-identification of 4-H animal projects means the youth/family are responsible for proper and accurate animal data entry. Some steps in the self-identification process to be eligible for State Fair Exhibition include:

  • 4-H member enrollment by May 31 – visit sd.4honline.com
  • Accurate animal identification in 4HOnline by June 1
  • DNA Sampling for all market animals, returned to the county office by June 1 – fee of $6 per head due at this time• Uploading Animal Projects Lease Agreement to 4HOnline by June 1 (if applicable)
  • Uploading Breed Registration papers for purebred breeding animals to 4HOnline by July 1
  • Uploading Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) Certification to 4HOnline by July 1 (Note: this is for all beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, meat goat, dairy goat, swine, poultry, and rabbit exhibitors for 2019)
  • State Fair animal project(s) registration due on Fair Entry by August 13
  • NOTE: Animal projects must also be exhibited at the county qualifying event in order to be eligible for State Fair Exhibition.

Please contact the SDSU Extension county office for more information on project area details.

SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisors have a responsibility to insure that 4-H youth/families in their county(ies) have the resources available to enroll online. We recognize not all families have computer and/or internet access consistently available. Also, some 4-H youth/families, particularly those new to the program, may not be comfortable entering their information on their own. Mentorship to 4-H youth/families should be provided during the enrollment and entry season.

What is the purpose of South Dakota 4-H’s animal projects Self-Identification Process?

SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Development must place an importance on developing “youth experience” versus “contest participation and competition.” It is important to build the framework of design in order to develop the highest level of success for our youth. Animal projects are an important aspect of the 4-H program. To place emphasis on “youth experience,” the following objectives outline animal project purposes beyond event management to include youth development principles. Long considered a model program for youth to experience american agriculture, animal projects have moved beyond animal husbandry practices to include intense scrutiny as part of the food supply feeding the world. We have a responsibility to collaboratively move to the larger intent of every 4-H event; youth development. The SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Development program defines the following objectives for the basis for “youth experience” with their animal project(s).

  • Objective #1: To promote personal growth and development by providing an educational experience for youth that emphasizes belonging, independence, generosity and mastery through the pathway of animal projects.
  • Objective #2: Animal projects assist youth in developing life skills. Decision making and planning are keys to building awareness and following through to project completion. When youth take responsibility for these aspects, they receive a more complete experience that prepares them for the future.
  • Objective #3: Animal projects build character through experience in a competitive environment. Positive interactions with mentors and other participants allow for exhibitors to increase their knowledge of recommended practices and procedures while building tolerance for other opinions.
  • Objective #4: To teach youth proper animal husbandry practices and spark career interests. Caring, feeding, fitting and exhibiting animals allows youth to gain experience with animal projects. Necessary paperwork assists participants to increase the well-being of animals while understanding ethical and safe practices for human consumption.

How will a 4-H Market Animal be identified without a weigh-in?

4-H Youth will visit their SDSU Extension county office to receive proper animal identification materials. 4-H National Uniform Eartagging System (NUES) tags and DNA sample envelopes can be picked up at the SDSU Extension county office and taken home to use. SDSU Extension county offices are not responsible for mailing supplies to families if requested. Exhibitors will need to self-identify their market animals with an official 4-H NUES Tag. A DNA hair sample will also need to be submitted to the county office by June 1 for ALL market animals. All unused or ruined DNA sample envelopes and 4-H NUES tags must be returned to the SDSU Extension county office. No DNA samples will be accepted after June 1 for South Dakota State Fair 4-H Exhibition purposes. All animal projects, market and breeding, are the exhibitor’s responsibility to accurately enter into 4HOnline by June 1. Deadlines are strictly enforced.

Will market animals still need a 4-H NUES Tag?

Yes. Market animal 4-H NUES tagging requirements remain the same as in past years. Market animals must have an 4-H NUES tag to be exhibited at the County Achievement Day/Fair and South Dakota State Fair 4-H show. (Note: market sheep and market goats need scrapie tags, so 4-H NUES tags are not needed. Market swine must have one of the following: Official 4-H NUES tag, Premise ID tag, or 840 RFID tag.) Without state level weigh-in requirements for market animals, 4-H NUES tagging is a self-identification process administered by the youth/family.

Who can 4-H NUES Tag and collect DNA on a market animal?

Animal project self-identification and DNA collection is the exhibitor’s responsibility. Any parent, guardian, or SDSU Extension 4-H volunteer can assist the 4-H youth with tagging an animal and collecting a DNA sample. The youth is strongly encouraged to be present during the tagging and DNA collection of an animal. Those new or inexperienced with the 4-H Market Animal project(s) are advised to seek assistance from a 4-H volunteer. All those involved should practice proper hygiene and cleanliness to reduce the risk of infection and disease spread.

  • NOTE: Market animal 4-H NUES tagging requirements remain the same as in past years. Market beef, commercial breeding heifers, and market swine must have an 4-H NUES tag to be exhibited at the County Achievement Day/Fair and South Dakota State Fair 4-H show. (Note: market sheep and market goats need scrapie tags, so 4-H NUES tags are not needed. Market swine need one of the following: Official 4-H NUES tag, Premise ID tag, or 840 RFID tag.)

Who will be responsible for DNA Sampling?

DNA collection is the exhibitor’s responsibility. Members of the SDSU Extension 4-H youth development and county 4-H staff have the responsibility to provide high quality customer service to youth and families served.

  • To encourage consistency, informational help sheets will be provided to ensure proper preparation and training for exhibitors and their families. Please contact the SDSU Extension county office for the Hair Sample Collection Instructions help sheet.
  • Individual/Exhibitor DNA collection
  • Youth pick up a DNA sample envelope(s) from the county office, take home the envelope(s), properly collect the sample, record the animal identification and collect all signatures. Each sample must be carefully placed in its own envelope to insure each animal’s sample is untainted. Once all steps are completed, youth will return the envelope(s) to the county office by June 1st. When returning the completed DNA samples to the county office, youth/families will pay the $6 fee per sample.
  •  Animal weight is NOT needed on the DNA sample envelope.
  • DNA collection can also be completed during mentorship days held within the county.
  • The sampling procedure above will be followed. However, 4-H youth program advisors and county 4-H staff will be available for questions and guidance.
  • In an effort to emphasize project management, youth/families are responsible for providing a proper DNA sample for each market animal project by June 1st.

Where can a 4-H Youth get an ear tagger?

4-H youth who do not have the proper ear tagger for inserting 4-H NUES Tags may borrow a tagger from another family, SDSU Extension 4-H volunteer, or if able from the SDSU Extension county office. Ear taggers are also available for purchase from most farm supply companies or stores.

Will County Fair/4-H Achievement Days still be allowed an optional 4-H Market Swine Show?

YES. County Fairs and 4-H Achievement Days are advised to follow the Regulations for Exhibition of Animals published by the South Dakota Animal Industry Board to make sure they have a plan in place to identify and handle sick animals properly. All event organizers and exhibitors should educate themselves on the associated risks when animals are commingled at an exhibition, show, or sale and follow biosecurity measures to reduce the chance of disease spread. Market swine entries for the State Fair 4-H Division will not be required to have received a purple ribbon at a County Fair/4-H Achievement Day in order to qualify.

How does the South Dakota 4-H animal projects self-identification process affect AKSARBEN exhibition deadlines and requirements?

South Dakota’s change to youth/families self-identifying animals does not affect the AKSARBEN deadline requirements. South Dakota State Fair 4-H Shows and AKSARBEN are two entirely different events. To exhibit animals at AKSARBEN, youth must follow the deadlines set by AKSARBEN. To exhibit animals in the South Dakota State Fair 4-H Shows, state requirements must be met by the appropriate deadlines. Please contact your SDSU Extension county office for both events important deadlines.

Do I need to exhibit my animal project(s) at county fair/achievement days in order to show at State Fair?

With the exception of market swine, all animals must be shown at the county qualifying event. Market swine is optional. This is part of the state level requirement that must be met in order for the animal to be eligible to compete in the South Dakota State Fair 4-H Show. The lot in which an animal is shown as at the county fair/achievement days is the lot in which that particular animal must be shown at State Fair.

  • For example: If an animal’s registration papers are provided by the required deadline and thus is shown as a Mainetainer Heifer at the county qualifying event, that animal will show as a Mainetainer Heifer in the South Dakota State Fair 4-H Show.

How do the animal project changes for 2019 affect the Horse and Dog Program registration requirements?

HORSE: As in the past, horse exhibitors will need to complete and upload the Horse Form and Horse Project Achievement Program to 4HOnline by June 1st. Photos of the horse must be uploaded as part of the Horse Form. For leased animals, a lease form must be completed and uploaded to 4HOnline by June 1st. (NOTE: The horse lease form will use the same lease form as all other animal projects. This form can be found on extension.sdstate.edu – ‘South Dakota 4-H Animal Projects Lease Form.’) Dog: As in the past, dog exhibitors will need to complete and upload the Dog Project ID Affidavit and Vaccination Verification by June 1. Photos of the dog must be uploaded as part of the Dog Project ID Affidavit and Vaccination Verification.

Will youth need to upload the YQCA Certificate to 4HOnline?

Yes. Youth/families will need to upload the YQCA Certificate (PDF document) to 4HOnline by July 1st to show that youth have completed the course. Completion of the course and uploading the document is a requirement in order to show beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, meat goats, dairy goats, pigs, poultry, and rabbits in South Dakota in 2019. Certificates can be downloaded (PDF) through the youth’s YQCA account by returning to the course menu after signing in via http://yqca.org. Once downloaded/saved, youth should upload the YQCA certificate to 4HOnline. Please contact your YQCA Instructor for help if you have trouble while downloading the certificate. (NOTE: In 2019, all beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, meat goats, dairy goats, swine, poultry and rabbit exhibitors will be required to complete the YQCA training in order to exhibit.)

What are the required steps to complete when leasing an animal?

When leasing an animal, the South Dakota 4-H Animal Projects Lease Form must be filled out, signed by all required individuals and uploaded to 4HOnline by June 1. This form can be found at extension.sdstate.edu. With the exception of market swine, all animals can be leased. Market Swine cannot be leased.

  • If leasing a purebred animal, the animal registration paper must be uploaded to 4HOnline by July 1st. The same animal owner name listed on the SD 4-H Animal Projects Lease Form should appear on the registration paper; therefore, the registration paper does not need to be in the exhibitor’s name.

Can an animal be shown as one breed at the county qualifying event and a different breed at State Fair?

NO. The breed in which an animal is shown under at the county qualifying event is the breed in which the animal must be exhibited as in the State Fair 4-H Show. For example, if the animal is shown as a Chianina at the county event, that animal will show as a Chianina in the State Fair 4-H Beef Show.

Can market swine be leased?

NO. Market swine cannot be leased. The State Fair 4-H Market Swine show is a terminal show; therefore, market swine are not able to be leased.

If a county chooses to keep hard copy forms of Registration Papers, Unofficial Affidavits, Lease Agreements, and/or YQCA Certifications on file, will they be accepted as ‘back-up’ if an exhibitor fails to enter the information into 4HOnline by the required deadline?

No, the hard copy kept on file at the county office will not be an accepted form of documentation for state level purposes. In order for an animal project to be eligible for State Fair, all state level requirements must be completed by the required deadlines.

  • NOTE: For youth who miss animal project deadlines, counties can allow county level project exhibition at the discretion of the SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. However, this type of county level exhibition does not meet minimum expectations for State Fair qualification.

Contact the South Dakota State 4-H Office with any questions: sdsu.4h@sdstate.edu – 605.688.4167