Animal Science Updates

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New FDA VFD (Veterinary Feed Directive) Rules to Impact Youth Livestock Producers Starting Jan 1, 2017! 

  • What is a VFD?

A VFD is a written (nonverbal) statement issued by a licensed veterinarian that authorizes the use of an approved VFD drug or combination VFD drug in or on an animal feed. This written statement authorizes the client (owner of the animal) to obtain and use animal feed bearing or containing a VFD drug or combination VFD drug to treat the client’s animals only in accordance with the conditions for use approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). (1) The client (youth producer) must establish a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) to be able to get a VFD. This is true whether the 4-H member has one food-producing animal or several.

  • When must the VFD be implemented?

January 1, 2017. Starting January 1, 2017, you can no longer stop by a feed store and buy a bag of medicated feed containing certain types of antibiotics that were previously classified as over-the counter (OTC) drugs. As of January 1, 2017, the FDA requires that clients have a VFD to be able to purchase animal feeds containing these antibiotics.

  • What is a VFD drug?

Antibiotic drugs required to have a VFD order to be added on or in the feed are those deemed by the FDA to be medically important for human medicine. The FDA is concerned that improper or overuse of these antibiotics may contribute to antibiotic-resistant bacteria making it harder to treat human illnesses. Examples include Aureomycin®, Lincomix®, Neo-Terramycin®, penicillin, and tylosin.  These antibiotics are no longer allowed to be used for production uses to enhance growth or improve feed efficiency. They are still allowed for therapeutic uses under veterinary supervision to (1) treat animals diagnosed with an illness; (2) control the spread of illness in a herd; and (3) prevent illness in healthy animals when exposure is likely. Drugs that do not require a VFD are those that are not deemed medically important to humans. Examples include Rumensin®, Bovatec®, Medacox®, monensin, amprolium, and dewormers. These types of medications can still be used over-the-counter (OTC) for production uses to enhance growth or improve feed efficiency, as well as for therapeutic uses (treatment, control and prevention).

  • What species of animals require a VFD?

Cattle, swine, sheep, goats, poultry, honey bees and fish, as well as other food-producing species, even if they are not intended for food production. For example, backyard chickens kept as pets still require a VFD for certain antibiotics to be legally added to their feed, and a prescription for certain antibiotics to be added to water.

For more information on the new FDA VFD requirements please visit:


Delaware 4-H’ers Compete at First Hippology Contest

The Delaware 4-H program held their first statewide 4-H Hippology contest on Saturday, December 3 at the Little Family’s Golden Locket Farm in Harrington, Delaware.  Hippology meaning “study of the horse” is an activity that enhances learning for 4-H members by letting them exhibit their knowledge and understanding of equine science and husbandry in a competitive setting.  36 youth ages 7-19 from across the state participated in the inaugural offering.  The Delaware 4-H Horse Advisory Committee, a group composed of 4-H volunteers from all three Delaware counties that are dedicated to providing quality 4-H horse programs to members, sponsored the event.

4-H members competed in both individual and team categories.  The individual portion of the contest had competitors complete five different station based activities focused on equine anatomy, tack, grooming equipment, horse coat color and marking identification and horse breed identification.  In the team portion of the contest youth competed on teams of up to four individuals to complete more difficult and comprehensive team problem solving activities.  The two team problem solving activities involved feeds and feeding; requiring youth to identify feed samples and perform calculations related to feeding horses, and identification of horses; requiring youth to measure and identify horses in different ways and answer some further process questions about the subject.

4-H volunteer adult leaders coached young people in the month leading up to the competition to prepare them using specified resource materials.  Special thanks to the Little Family for providing the location for the event.

The High Individuals in each age division were:

  • Beginner (8-10 year olds)

Clara Gulick- Tails and Trails 4-H Club New Castle County

  • Intermediate (11-13 year olds)

Sydney Messick- Peach Blossom 4-H Club, Kent County

  • Senior (14-19 year olds)

Nicole Cannavo- Holler-N-Hooves 4-H Club, Kent County

The High Teams in each age division were:

  • Beginner (8-10 year olds)

Camo and Cowgirls- Peach Blossom 4-H Club, Kent County

Members; Miranda Garey, Savannah Messick, Carley Rebuck, Ethan Stafford

  • Intermediate (11-13 year olds)

Yellow Snowflakes- Peach Blossom 4-H Club, Kent County

Members: Rachel Adkins, Sydni Brown, Sydney Messick

  • Senior (14-19 year olds)

Appaloosa’s- Holler-N-Hooves 4-H Club, Kent County

Members: Nicole Cannavo, Grant Kidner, Jessica Knowles, Maddy Lester


Delaware Ag Week

Delaware Ag Week programs along with an agricultural trade show and exhibits by the First State Antique Tractor Club, are being held January 9-13, 2017 at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington, Delaware.  Sessions focused on beef cattle production, small ruminant production, equine pasture management and hay and pasture are among the variety of programs being held.  For the complete schedule of events and individual session schedules please visit     


Delaware Equine Council Scholarship- $1000


  • Must be a U.S. citizen and a Delaware resident or Delaware Equine Council member. ($10.00 to become an individual member)
  • Must be enrolled and in good standing in an agriculture, equine, veterinary or vet tech program in the United States.
  • Must submit a typewritten 250-word essay :

“How I plan to use this course of study to further the equine or agriculture industry.”


  • Must complete a typed application and include a transcript of a minimum of one full semester’s grades from an accredited college or university.

All awards are given without discrimination as to race, sex, or creed.

Application postmark deadline is January 31, 2017. Winners will be awarded in March 4, 2017.  To download the application or for more details please visit:


DPI Offers College Scholarships

DPI is accepting applications for its 2017 College Scholarship Program.  Applications are being accepted for undergraduate and graduate scholarships that are available in the amount of $1,500 or more.

Undergraduate applicants must be a Delmarva resident and a student in good standing at any accredited, degree-granting institution in the United States or in the case of graduating high school seniors, accepted to an accredited, degree-granting institution within the United States.  Individuals must have an academic major in a subject matter relevant to Delmarva’s chicken industry and be planning a career in a segment of this industry.  An official transcript must accompany each application.

Graduate student applications must meet the above criteria, with the exception of Delmarva residency.  In addition, the individual must be engaged in research that positively could benefit Delmarva’s chicken industry.

Although an applicant is not required to have a family member of a family business that is a member of DPI, membership in DPI would be a deciding factor when applicants are otherwise evenly matched.  Previous recipients, if still eligible, may reapply.

Applications must be completed and received at the following address on or before 4:30 pm on April 3, 2017:  DPI College Scholarship Program, 16686 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, DE 19947.  Applications and additional scholarship information are available from the DPI website at or by sending inquiries to


Delaware Junior Dairy Futurity Second Entry Deadline 

The second entry deadline for the 2017 Delaware Junior Dairy futurity is February 1, 2017.  The entry form can be found here

To participate in the 2017 Futurity for Summer Calves, a calf must be nominated by May 1, 2017.  All calves, born June 1, 2016 to August 31, 2016 inclusive, of any dairy breed are eligible to enter the Delaware Youth Dairy Futurity. 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 2, 2016.

1st payment of $5.00 due on or before November 14, 2016

2nd payment of $10.00 due on or before February 1, 2017

3rd payment of $15.00 due on or before May 1, 2017

Late entries are permitted but if you do not enter the animal on the first due date, the payment will be doubled.  If your first entry is made on February 1, your entry fee will be $30.00.  If you do not enter until May 1, your entry fee is $70.00 on May 1.

Entry questions can be directed to volunteer Dairy Futurity co-chairs John Hickey or Charmayne Busker


Delaware 4-H Horse Bowl- Entry Deadline February 10, 2017

The Delaware 4-H Horse Bowl will be held on March 11, 2017 at Lake Forest North Elementary.  Divisions are available for Ages 9-10, 11-13, and 14-19 as of January 1 of the 2017 4-H year. This year we are switching to using the newly updated 2015 4-H Horse Manuals as resource material.  These new versions have the same titles but are the manuals with the blue covers.  We are discontinuing use of the old tan cover versions of the 4-H Horse Manuals.

Complete rules and the entry form can be found here:

Horse Bowl entries are due to the State 4-H Office by February 10, 2017.

Questions may come from:

  • 4-H Horse Manuals(blue cover 2015 version):

“Giddy Up and Go”, “Head, Heart and Hooves”, “Stable Relationships”,

“Riding the Range,” “Jumping to New Heights,” “Horse Project Helper’s Guide.,”

and 4-H Horse curriculum corrections found on-line at

  • In addition to the 4-H Horse Project manuals:

Age 8-10: Your Pony, Your Horse, by Cherry Hill

Age 11-13: Your Horse, a step-by-step guide to horse ownership, by Judy Chapple (and age 8-10 material).

Horses and Horsemanship – by Ray Antoniewicz, National 4-H Council- NEW!!

Age 14 and older: Storey’s Horse-Lover’s Encyclopedia, edited by Deborah Burns (and age 8-10 and 11-13 material).

Horse Science- by Ray Antoniewicz, National 4-H Council- NEW!!


2017 State 4-H Avian Bowl Interest???

The Avian Bowl is a knowledge based quiz bowl style competition that focuses on poultry and eggs and poultry industry topics.  The State 4-H Office is trying to gage the level of interest in holding a 2017 State 4-H Avian Bowl during the 2017 Delaware State Fair.  If you think that your club will have interest in submitting a team for a 2017 contest, please call or email Susan Garey or (302)730-4000 by February 1, 2017.


Delaware Pork Producers Annual Dinner- March 18th

The Delaware Pork Producers Association will be holding their annual dinner and banquet on Saturday, March 18th 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.