Animal Science Updates

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Delaware State Fair Online Entries Open April 2 

It’s that time already!  Delaware State Fair online entries for all classes, including livestock open on April 2.  Entries close on June 1.

Delaware State Fair Livestock Handbook Department Highlights for 2018
2018 DSF Swine Show Changes: ***SPLIT SHOW FORMAT AGAIN THIS YEAR***

First half of week- Market, Showmanship and Barrow Show

  • Saturday July 21st
    • Weigh in and barn meeting will remain on Saturday
    • Showmanship will start at 4 PM Saturday (if you are using a breed gilt for showmanship you are allowed to bring that in with the market pigs before Saturday at 8 am- otherwise no gilts or boars are permitted in the barn and will be sent home
    • Educational pen displays must be up by noon on Saturday in order to be judged
  • Sunday July 22nd
    • Market Show will start at 8 am (about 2 hours long) after the market show they will take a break and start the barrow show
    • After barrow show they will notify the animals going to auction
    • Start preparing for remaining hogs to exit and breed pigs to enter
  • Monday July 23rd
    • The pigs going to auction will stay until the end of the fair. Exhibitors whose pigs are not going to auction will need to make arrangements for the pigs to be shipped out between 12 am- 9 am.
    • It is imperative that you have a plan for where your market animal is headed if it does not make the Junior Livestock Auction before you ever arrive at the fair!!

Second Half of the week- Jr & Open Breed Show

  • Monday July, 23rd
    • 12 am-9am breed pigs may enter while the market is leaving
    • Crossbred gilts will be weighed in at 9 am
    • Jr and Open Breed Show will start at 4 pm
  • Wednesday July 25th
    • Exhibitors of breed animals may remove up to 12/3 of their breed animals from 12 am- 6 pm.

Exhibitors of all market animals should send buyer letters to potential buyers prior to the start of the 2018 DSF.  It is not the Fair’s nor the Junior Livestock Auction’s responsibility to provide buyers for you.  Follow up thank you notes are critically important as well.


2018 DSF Beef Cattle Show Changes:
  • Again this year feeder calves must be tagged at one of the May livestock tagging dates
  • Upper weight limit for steers has been raised to 1500 lbs.


Upcoming eXtension Small Flock Poultry Webinars- FREE!
Feeds and Feeding for Small and Backyard FlocksApril 19- 3:00 pm EDT


Whether you have a small, commercial poultry operation or a few chickens in the backyard, proper nutrition is essential to the health and productivity of your birds. This webinar will review some of the basics of poultry nutrition as well as selecting the right feed for your flock or mixing your own feed. The webinar will also look at different feed additives including probiotics and prebiotics. Justin Fowler is an Extension Specialist at the University of Georgia with a specialty in the area of poultry nutrition.


Getting Started with Your Backyard Flock- April 25- 12:00 pm EDT

Location: Online Webinar- Must register for link

Small flock production on the rise in the United States. It is so important to explore the many aspects to raising a backyard flock before you purchase your first chick. This webinar will teach the essential of housing, feeding, water, zoning, regulations, animal husbandry, biosecurity and much more.



Delaware State Fair Livestock Tagging Dates for Market Animals

All market animals must be identified with a Delaware State Fair ear tag in order to be eligible.  This applies to market steers, feeder calves, market lambs, market goats and market hogs.  Again this year feeder calves must be tagged!  Breed animals do not need to be tagged.

May 5- 9:00 am-11:00 am- Sussex County- REC (no cattle)- minimum pig weight 75 lbs

May 5- 9:00 am- 11:00 am- NCC- Newark- Cook Farm- minimum pig weight is 75 lbs

May 12- 9:00 am-11:00 am- Kent County- DSF- minimum pig weight 80 lbs

May 18- 6:00 pm-9:00 pm- Kent County- DSF- Livestock Show- minimum pig weight is 85 lbs (no Saturday tagging)

May 22- 5:00 pm- 8:00 pm- Kent County- DSF- FINAL TAGGING minimum pig weight is 85 lbs

**Sussex County does not have the ability to weigh steers or feeder calves so if you want your steer to be weighed at the time of tagging, it must be brought to one of the Delaware State Fair tagging dates.  To be eligible for the Delaware Farm Bureau Rate of Gain Contest, you must weigh and tag at the location for your county.


PQA/YQCA Certification

All Junior Market Hog Exhibitors are required to have a current PQA/YQCA certification in order to exhibit a market hog at the Delaware State Fair.  The national Youth Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) training is a program that was put together by the National Pork Producers Association.  Commercial hog producers across the county have been required to have this certification since 1999 in order to market their hogs.  This program is currently in transition to a new Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) program which will cover all livestock species for all youth ages 8-21 nationwide. After June 1, the old Youth PQA program will cease to exist and the YQCA program will be the only option for certification. The adult PQA certification program will continue.

For 2018, the Delaware State Fair Swine Department will accept either the PQA or YQCA certification.  There are currently two options for obtaining YQCA certification. The in person class certification option is open to any age but youth under the age of 8 (computed as of Jan 1 of the current year) must have a parent attend the class with them.  Youth YQCA certification received through the classroom option is valid for one year.  Youth ages 8-21 as of January must register through the YQCA website and pay a $3.00 fee online that goes directly to YQCA even if you are attending an in person training.  This must be completed prior to coming to the training.

In addition, there is an online YQCA training and certification option for youth ages 8-21. You must pay a $12.00 fee online that goes directly to the YQCA program in order to complete the online training.  For youth age 12 and under, parents are required to register their youth on the YQCA website. Youth should take the online module that corresponds to their age as of January 1 of the current year. Online Adult PQA certification is now an option for parents of youth 5-7 as of January 1 if it is a parent’s first time receiving a PQA certification.  There is no charge for this certification.  Please contact Susan Garey if you would like to be granted access to the online Adult PQA certification training to cover youth ages 5-7.

The following local YQCA class training dates have been scheduled for this spring:

April 16, 2018- NCC YQCA Classroom Training- New Castle County Extension Office 6:30-8:00 pm

May 10, 2018 – Sussex County YQCA Classroom Training- Carvel Center 6:30-8:00 pm

June 4, 2018- FINAL YQCA Classroom Training- Kent County Extension Office- 6:30-8:00 pm

You may attend class or testing in any of the locations. If you plan on attending any of these sessions, please RSVP to Susan Garey (302)730-4000 or at least three days prior so that there will be adequate materials. If there are no registrations in advance, the class will be canceled. Please contact Susan Garey if you have any questions or concerns in regards to PQA/YQCA certification needs as we transition to this one uniform national program.






Delaware 4-H Equine Art Contest- Entries Due April 16th- NEW CATAGORIES THIS YEAR!


Calling all young artists!  With categories encompassing painting, pastels, charcoals, photography, pencil, pen and ink and even crayons and markers for younger youth there is something for everyone in the Delaware 4-H Equine Art Contest. Entries are due to county

offices on or before April 16, 2018. New for this year are cartoon strip and mixed media classes! Entries will be put on display by May 11th at Chick’s retail store in Harrington, Delaware.  Contest guidelines and entry information is posted on the State 4-H website.


Delaware Pork Producers Annual Dinner- April 21st


The Delaware Pork Producers Association will be holding their annual dinner and banquet on Saturday, April 21st at the Felton Fire Hall.  Dinner will be served family style beginning at 6:30pm.  The menu will consist of Felton’s famous fried oysters, delicious pork roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, dumplings, green beans, dessert and beverages.  Tickets are $25 for adults, $12.50 for children ages 6-12 and free for children 5 and under. Please call Karen Tigner at (302)632-4250 for more information or to purchase dinner tickets.  The Delaware Pork Producers Association has graciously provided support to Delaware 4-H Livestock programs for many years.


Jackpot Show Entries Due May 1


The Kent County 4-H Livestock Advisory Committee is hosting its 21st Jackpot Show on May 19, 2018 at the Delaware State Fairgrounds.  This is a market preview show for steers, market goats, market lambs, and market hogs.  Entry information is posted on the State 4-H animal science page and entries must be postmarked by May 1 or entry fees double.


NCC Hosts 4-H/FFA Livestock Classic- ENTRY DEADLINE MAY 7- Late entry fees are double!


New Castle County 4-H and FFA Livestock Volunteers are hosting the 4-H and FFA Summer Livestock Classic on June 9, 2018 at the Delaware State Fair.  This event is open to any 4-H or FFA member in Delaware and the eastern shore counties of Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot counties. Classes offered include showmanship and market classes.  Entry information and a class list are posted on the state 4-H animal Science website


Please note entries must be postmarked by May 7 to avoid late fees.


Dairy Leasing Agreements Due to County Offices May 1


2018 Delaware Youth Dairy Leasing Agreements must be turned in to county offices for county agent signatures or to Susan Garey by May 1.  Copies of dairy leases will be forwarded on to the Delaware State Fair.  The leasing agreement is posted on the state 4-H webpage under the “Dairy” heading. This is the only version of a leasing agreement that is accepted for Delaware shows.


National 4-H Dairy Conference Applications Due May 1


The 2018 National 4-H Dairy Conference is September 30- October 3, 2018 in Madison, Wisconsin.  The conference is for 15 to 18 year-olds who have participated in the 4-H Dairy Program for at least three years, who are currently enrolled in 4-H and have an interest in the dairy industry.  The Delaware 4-H Foundation provides funding for two delegates and one chaperone each year.


The conference will be held concurrently with the World Dairy Expo.  National 4-H Dairy Conference delegates may not participate in the National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest or exhibit cattle at the World Dairy Expo due to time constraints.  You may not have previously attended National 4-H Dairy Conference.  For more information on National 4-H Dairy Conference please visit

The updated application is available on the State 4-H Animal Science webpage at and is due to Susan Garey by May 1.


Final Delaware Junior Dairy Futurity Payment Due May 1


The third payment for futurity animals entered for the 2018 Delaware Junior Dairy Futurity is due May 1 to volunteer Charmayne Busker.  Calves MUST be exhibited by a Delaware State Fair Junior Dairy Exhibitor. Leased animals are eligible and an exhibitor must be named on the last entry on May 1, 2018.  For more information please consult the 2018 entry form posted on the State 4-H animal science page at

or email Charmayne Busker


2018 Delaware 4-H Horse of the Year Winner Announced


Congratulations to Kent County 4-H’er Stephanie Strachar who is the winner of the 2018 Delaware 4-H Horse of the Year essay contest sponsored by the Delaware 4-H Horse Advisory Committee and Peter Stone horses.  Sarah is a member of the Hearts 4-Horses 4-H Club and nominated her Appaloosa gelding Confidential aka “Nelson”.  In her essay Stephanie shared her story of her “bestest” friend Nelson who always listens and never judges her, waits for her afterschool and makes her feel special every day.  In the fall, Stephanie will receive a custom painted model of Nelson generously created and donated by Peter Stone horses.  For more information on Peter Stone horses please visit their website


Harness Horse Youth Foundation Announces Summer Camp Programs

Spring is just around the corner. That can mean only one thing, the Harness Horse Youth Foundation summer camp schedule and applications are now available. Complete details are at

The HHYF Trottingbreds and staff will kick off the season with a bang on July 4-7 in Goshen, N.Y. with the Leadership Program and then spend another week with the introductory level July 10-14 also based at Goshen Historic Track. The next stop will be The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono July 17-21 and then on to Gaitway Farm on July 24-28. The introductory level finals will again take place at The Meadowlands on Hambletonian weekend Aug. 3-4.  There will not be a Harrington camp this year.

Camp registration fee is $150, which includes meals, materials and lodging where applicable.

All introductory level events are open to any interested young person (no horse experience necessary) between the ages of 12 and 14. The Leadership Program is designed for former participants of HHYF events or those age 15 and up with at least some harness racing experience.

Camp applications are due May 15.

Additional dates will be announced as they are added. For questions or to find more details visit or e-mail Executive Director Ellen Taylor,

The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is a charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with harness horses in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation has been making a difference in young people’s lives since 1976, and its programs include interactive learning experiences with harness horses, scholarship programs, and creation and distribution of educational materials. For more information on opportunities through HHYF, or to support its mission, go to

Tufts University Adventures in Veterinary Medicine Camp


Adventures in Veterinary Medicine is a fun and engaging career exploration program for middle and high school students who are interested in pursuing a veterinary career. They invite 4-H youth to apply to AVM and discover if this exciting career is right for you!


AVM attendees will explore the wide variety of opportunities available within veterinary medicine and see first-hand what attending veterinary school is really like. Programs are available for middle school, high school, college and adult age groups.  Sessions include lectures by Tufts faculty and vet students, interesting laboratories, demonstrations, and hands-on activities with animals. AVM is held on the beautiful campus of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, located about 40 minutes west of Boston in North Grafton, MA.


Applications for summer 2018 are now available! For more information on the program, including dates, eligibility, and tuition please visit the AVM website or contact us at


2018 Delaware 4-H Avian Bowl Rules, Entry Information and Study Sections


The rules and guidelines along with the study sections and entry information for the 2018 Delaware 4-H Avian Bowl held during the Delaware State Fair has been posted to the State 4-H Animal Science web page.  Entries are due via the Delaware State Fair website by June 1.  Visit for the complete rules and study sections.