Animal Science Updates

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Delaware State Fair Online Entries Open April 1

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


Delaware State Fair Livestock Handbook Department Highlights for 2017

 Starting in 2017, $10.00 livestock entry fee per class (excluding showmanship/fitting and group/pairs classes).


2017 DSF Swine Show Changes: ***NEW SPLIT SHOW FORMAT***

First half of week- Market, Showmanship and Barrow Show

  • Saturday July 22nd
    • Weigh in and barn meeting will remain on Saturday
    • Showmanship will start at 4 PM Saturday (if you are using a breed pig for showmanship you are allowed to bring that in with the market pigs before Saturday at 8 am
    • Educational pen displays must be up by noon on Saturday in order to be judged
  • Sunday July 23rd
    • 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 24th
    • The ones 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, 24th
    • 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 26th
    • 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 2017 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.

FYI for 2017-  Maryland State Fair will require RFID tags for cattle and hog exhibitors- it is expected that they will also require RFID for Maryland County Fairs


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.  New for this year feeder calves must be tagged!  Breed animals do not need to be tagged.

May 6- 9:00 am-11:00 am- Sussex County- REC (no cattle)- minimum pig weight 75 lbs

May 6- 9:00 am- 11:00 am- NCC- Newark- Cook Farm- minimum pig weight is 75 lbs

May 13- 9:00 am-11:00 am- Kent County- DSF- minimum pig weight 80 lbs

May 19- 6:00 pm-9:00 pm- Kent County- DSF- Livestock Show- minimum pig weight is 85 lbs (no Saturday tagging)

May 23- 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.


Jackpot Show Entries Due May 1

The Kent County 4-H Livestock Advisory Committee is hosting its 20th Jackpot Show on May 20, 2017 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.


PQA Certification

All Junior Market Hog Exhibitors are required to have a current PQA certification in order to exhibit a market hog at the Delaware State Fair.  There are currently three options for obtaining PQA certification. The 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 as national program guidelines do not permit a child under 8 to hold their own certification.  Certification received through the classroom option is valid for one year.

Youth over the age of 12 (computed as of Jan 1 of the current year) have the option of taking a multiple choice test in lieu of attending classroom training. The benefit of the testing option is that certification may last for longer than one year, depending on the age of the youth at test time.  Youth must score 70% or better to pass the test and can take versions of the test up to three times in one sitting to pass.

There is an online training, testing, and certification option for youth ages 8-19. Delivered in the form of an engaging, interactive online module, the new online option allows participants to learn, test, and become certified in Youth PQA Plus. For youth age 12 and under, a parent log-in for security is required. Youth only need to complete one of these three options for obtaining certification. Online certification is not an option for parents if it is their first time receiving a PQA certification.

In 2017, for all youth who receive their PQA certification this year, certification will only last through 2017 as the new national Youth for the Quality Care of Animals program will become the single, national certification program for all livestock species beginning in 2018. For more information and to complete your certification online, please visit

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

May 2, 2017- NCC PQA Classroom Training- New Castle County Extension Office 6:30-8:30 pm

May 4, 2017 – Sussex County PQA Classroom Training- Carvel Center 6:30-8:30 pm

June 6, 2017- FINAL PQA Classroom Training- Kent County Extension Office- 6:30-8:30 pm

The following PQA testing dates have been scheduled for this spring (walk in any time):

May 22, 2017- NCC PQA Open Testing- New Castle County Extension office- 4:00-6:00 pm

May 25, 2017- Sussex PQA Open Testing- Carvel Center- 4:00-6:00 pm

June 27, 2017- Kent PQA Open Testing- Kent County Extension Office- 4:00-6:00 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 certification needs.


 Delaware 4-H Equine Art Contest

 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.


Dairy Leasing Agreements Due to County Offices May 1

 2016 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 2017 National 4-H Dairy Conference is October 1-5, 2017 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 2017 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, 2017.  For more information please consult the 2017 entry form posted on the State 4-H animal science page at or email Charmayne Busker


Harness Racing Camp Coming June 17-21, 2017- Applications Due May 15th!

 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 12-14.  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. 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 17 and end on Wednesday evening, June 21.  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!  Camp applications can be found at:  For more information please visit


2017 Delaware 4-H Horse of the Year Winner Announced

Congratulations to New Castle County 4-H’er Sarah Brown who is the winner of the 2017 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 Heavenly Hooves 4-H Club and nominated Bree a 21 year old Quarter Horse mare.  In her essay Sarah shared her story of building a relationship with Bree, a previously unloved horse, and how the most important thing Bree taught her was how to find the silver lining of an experience and just enjoy being together.  In the fall, Sarah will receive a custom painted model of Bree generously created and donated by Peter Stone horses.  For more information on Peter Stone horses please visit their website


2017 Delaware 4-H Avian Bowl Rules, Entry Information and Coaches Training

 The rules and guidelines along with the study sections and entry information for the 2017 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.  A training for Avian Bowl coaches will be held at the Kent County Extension Office on Tuesday May 9, 2017 beginning at 6:30 pm to assist coaches in understanding the contest and how best to prepare their teams. Please RSVP to Susan Garey by May 5th if you plan on attending.  Visit for the complete rules and guidelines.