Animal Science Updates

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We’re gearing up for spring events! Please make sure you are aware of important changes to the Veterinary Feed Directive that will impact you if you are participating in an animal project. 

Upcoming events and news follow the information on the VFD below:

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:

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. We invite 4-H youth to apply to AVM and discover if this exciting career is right for them!

AVM attendees will explore the wide variety of opportunities available within veterinary medicine and see first-hand what attending veterinary school is really like. 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 2017 are now available! For more information on the program, including dates, eligibility, and tuition please visit the AVM website or contact us at

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

Summer Employment Opportunity With the Harness Horse Youth Foundation

Do you love working with horses? Do you love teaching children about horses and horsemanship? Can you drive a truck and horse trailer? Then the Harness Horse Youth Foundation is looking for you! The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is looking for a Summer Programs Supervisor for June 1-August 15.  We are seeking a Summer Programs Supervisor to coordinate our horsemanship camps and outreach events, while supervising care of the Foundation’s stable of Trottingbred horses.  Desired qualifications for the Summer Programs Supervisor 1) Must practice safe horsemanship and have knowledge of racing industry; 2) Must enjoy being with and sharing love of harness racing with young people; 3) must have experience in transporting horses.

HHYF is also looking for a Summer Programs Intern/Assistant -Seeking dedicated individual to serve as assistant in camp program. Must have love of horses (experience with Standardbreds preferred) as well as love of kids. Should be willing to work hard and be team player.  Application deadline is March 1. For more information please visit:

2017 Spring 4-H/FFA Dairy Show

The Spring 4-H and FFA Dairy Show will be held on April 1, 2017 at the Delaware State Fairgrounds.  Entries are due to 4-H volunteer Charmayne Busker by March 3, 2017.  The show is open to all Delmarva Residents who are owners or lessors of Holstein, Jersey, Ayrshire, Guernsey and Brown Swiss cattle. The show will include both a Junior Division (age 21 & under as of January 1, 2014) and an Open Division which will run concurrently.  For show information and an entry form please visit the state 4-H website

We are always looking for additional show sponsors.  If you are interested in sponsoring the 2017 show, please contact Charmayne by March 3 to be featured on the Spring Show t-shirt.

Delaware Livestock Exposition Benefit Dinner Catered by Mission BBQ – March 11th

Mark your calendar for the 2017 Delaware Livestock Exposition, October 14-15 at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington.  The show is a junior breeding show for beef cattle, sheep, swine, and Boer goats and is open to exhibitors from across the country.  Entry and registration information is available via our new website at  Premiums are paid to the top placing animals in each class.  Sponsors and donors support the Expo financially however we still need your help too!  This show has returned over $225,000 in premiums to our young livestock exhibitors.

The show committee is hosting a benefit dinner and auction catered by Mission BBQ on Saturday, March 11th in the Dover building on the Delaware State Fairgrounds.  Tickets are $30 each and are available for purchase at the Kent County Extension office beginning in February.   Please email Susan Garey or Kristin Cook  to reserve yours now.  All proceeds are used towards Livestock Exposition premiums and expenses.  We are also actively looking for donations of unique items for our silent and live auctions that evening.  Please join us for a fun filled evening to support our livestock youth!

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 gauge 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.


Sponsored by the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

Youth interested in applying for the 2017 Youth Conservationist Program

* Must be between 9 and 18 years old.

*Submit an application postmarked by April 1, 2017 that includes:

An essay which introduces you, your experience with animals. If for any reason, the animal is not being kept at your own home, explain, in detail where it will reside and what exactly your responsibilities will be.  Your essay should explain your interest in sheep, and answer the question: “Why I would like to help preserve a heritage breed of sheep.”

Each applicant must include a letter of recommendation from their 4-H Advisor, FFA Advisor, veterinarian, teacher or clergy. The total application/essay should be no more than 2 pages in length. The applicant should indicate if they wish to be considered for a particular breed or for any of the breeds available.  The application must include address, phone and if available, email address. Interested young people should contact Elaine for an updated list of breeds available, then submit their letter of application/essay to:

Elaine Ashcraft, 46118 CR 58 Coshocton, OH 43812


please note the underscore between tankewe and cr58!


Requirements if selected:

  • Must be present to receive the ewe at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival on Sunday

May 7, 2017.

  • Must exhibit the ewe at least twice in 2017 at: 1) a county fair or local sheep show and 2) the State Fair in the state where the recipient lives.
  • Must breed the ewe to a registered ram (of her breed) in the fall of 2017, should consult the donor breeder for their recommendations.
  • Must either use the ewe’s fleece to personally make a wool item or sell the fleece to a spinner, felter or weaver.
  • Must submit an article the following Feb/Mar to their local newspaper covering their year and including information concerning the next year’s YCP program.
  • Must submit a one to two page report, with pictures, to the Donor Breeder by April 30, 2017 and provide a scrapbook to be used at the Maryland Festival which is then given back to the youth.

Any questions please contact Elaine Ashcraft 46118 CR 58 Coshocton, Ohio 43812


please note the underscore between tankewe and cr58!

Donors choose the recipients from the essays submitted by the youth.

Delaware 4-H Equine Art Contest- Entries Due April 17th

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 17, 2017 and will be put on display for the month of May at Chick’s retail store in Harrington, Delaware.  Contest guidelines and entry information is posted on the State 4-H website.

Harness Racing Camp Coming June 17-21, 2017!

The Harness Horse Youth Foundation, Harrington Raceway and University of Delaware Cooperative Extension are pleased to be partnering once again to hold a 5 day-4 night harness racing camp for youth ages 12-14The 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. Harness racing camp gives youth an opportunity to experience working with, caring for and driving harness racing ponies while interacting with industry professionals and learning to work together. Camp will begin on Saturday morning, June 21 and end on Wednesday evening, June 25.  That evening, Harrington Raceway will feature campers participating in televised races on Harrington’s track with well-known drivers as their racing partners. 

Campers will reside in the state police barracks on the Delaware State Fairgrounds for the duration of the camp.  The camp fee is $150 per participant which includes all meals and camp expenses.  Camp attendance is limited in order to provide proper supervision for this intensive and fun learning experience!  Registration information and applications can be found on the HHYF website