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4-H Swine Project

black and white pig being shown at a 4-H competition

Oink Oink! Pigs do not roll in the mud for fun. They roll in the mud to keep cool because pigs cannot sweat. This is only one of the amazing facts you will learn about swine through being part of the 4-H swine project. The swine project teaches why people raise swine, how to select a pig for your project, feeding and caring for your pig, learning about swine behavior, parts of a pig and how to fit and show swine. Your swine project will also teach you a great deal about the food supply continuum and your role in each segment from producer to consumer.

Ages and Stages of Youth Development


Beginners learn to feed their animal so it reaches ideal market weight. Daily work with their animal teaches them to recognize their animal’s health and focuses on learning proper feeding, training, showmanship, and grooming techniques.


Identify popular retail cuts, administer vaccinations and medications, and understand proper usage and storage of medication. Recognize the phenotype of animals that are competitive in the show ring and productive in a herd.


Understand EPDs, balance a swine ration, treat common swine diseases, and evaluate a swine carcass. Make breeding and marketing decisions based on knowledge obtained through years in the project area.

4-H Programming Priorities


As a leader in the swine project area, youth can mentor younger members in proper swine care and showmanship skills and give a swine promotion presentation.

Health & Wellness

Discover and share delicious recipes that feature pork. Learn how to prepare pork properly and promote the health benefits of eating pork.


Learn breeding and reproduction techniques in swine and study common diseases and parasites in livestock.


Promote the pork industry by sharing how a swine operation is a safe, vital and sustainable food source. Develop a biosecurity and waste management plan.

Get Involved

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Youth Voice

  • Discuss proper feeding and care of swine
  • Give an Illustrated talked on swine breeds
  • Present a speech on ear notching and other proper identification
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Community Service

  • Volunteer to clean and repair livestock pens and fences
  • Lead a fitting and livestock showmanship clinic
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Career Connections

  • Veterinarian or veterinarian technician
  • Swine technician
  • Pharmaceutical representative
  • Feed sales representative

Exhibit Ideas

  • Participate in the 4-H swine show
  • Poster/display on economic impact of swine to South Dakota
  • Poster/display on general animal behavior, management, health and nutrition
  • Poster/display of genetics and breeding
  • Poster/display of importance of biosecurity