4-H Programs in Otsego County

Dairy Challenge

Dairy Challenge

Every year Otsego County hosts a Regional Dairy Challenge Contest.

There will be three levels of participation:

Novice – ages 8 to 10
Junior – ages 11 to 13
Senior - age 14 and over

The contest will include seven stations: dairy products identification and knowledge; animal health; milk quality management; dairy reproduction; dairy feeds and nutrition; linear traits analysis; and nutrient management. All participants will rotate through each timed station.

The top four individuals in each of the divisions will be recognized. The top-scoring individual at each station will also be recognized. The contest will take roughly two hours to complete as a contestant. When contestants are finished, we are arranging to visit a local dairy farm and provide an opportunity for 4-H members to judge 2 classes of dairy animals.

While 4-H members are judging, volunteers and educators will be scoring the contest and tallying results. As members return to the contest area, we plan to provide a yogurt bar as a refreshment while results are announced. We welcome 4-H Extension Educators and volunteers from other counties to assist with staffing and scoring.

Earn-an-Animal Program

The 4-H Earn-An-Animal tradition continues in Otsego County! This program gives youth the opportunity to receive grant money to purchase an animal that they will raise and show. The hands-on experience allows youth to learn important life and science skills it takes to complete a 4-H livestock project. Species in the 4-H Earn-an-Animal project: Beef and dairy calves, dairy and meat goats, poultry, swine, sheep, and rabbits.

How does it work?

Any Otsego County youth can apply for a 4-H Earn-an-Animal project animal grant. ALL Otsego County youth ages 8-19 are invited to participate! Unaffiliated youth awarded grant monies will be enrolled as 4-H members.

Youth must complete an application including a reference check, have a face-to-face interview (with the Earn-an-Animal Committee), and formally agree to the requirements of the 4-H Earn-an-Animal project. Applications are due January 1.

How is this program possible?

Generous financial donations from past recipients, area businesses, and individual supporters of 4-H support this program. Occasionally, animals are donated by generous area farmers.

What is expected of the selected youth?

Youth are expected to be the primary caregiver for the award animal (s), show them at the Otsego County Fair, and/or the Jr. Livestock Show. Show requirements vary by species. Contracts with the award winners will specify the details. The youth will work with a mentor to find and purchase an animal. A dollar amount will be allocated for the purchase. Upon completion of the project requirements, with a receipt, the youth will be reimbursed for the agreed amount. In some cases, the family may have to help cover the cost of the project animal.

For more information contact the 4-H office at 607-547-2536 Ext 225.


Teresa Adell
4-H Subject Educator
607-547-2536 x225

Last updated October 31, 2022