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 2016

  • Entry fees for beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, swine and goats will be $5.00 per class with the exception of showmanship and group classes. A sliding scale for premiums paid will be utilized starting with the 2016 fair.
  • Beef cattle tie out times have been established starting in 2016. Tie out between the horse barns will be allowed from 9:00 PM to 9:00 AM. Clean out is required nightly and all manure is to be brought to the designated manure bins. All tie out areas must be cleaned completely out by Sunday July 31st at noon, Exhibitors who do not comply will forfeit premiums.
  • Crossbred gilts and barrows for the open barrow show must be 200-300 lbs. Any hogs not making these weights for these classes must be removed immediately following weigh in on Saturday morning and may not be shown.
  • A minimum weight for tagging of market hogs is in place again this year. If your hog does not meet the minimum requirement for that tagging date, it will not be tagged by fair officials.  You may bring it back to another tagging date but must meet the minimum for that next date.  The minimum weights are:

May 7, 2016- 75 lbs.

May 14, 2016- 80 lbs.

May 20, 2016- 85 lbs.

May 24, 2016- 85 lbs. 

  • Goat Exhibitors– beginning with the 2016 Delaware State Fair, all pygmy goats will be required to be registered. Registration papers will be checked beginning in 2016.


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, market lambs, market goats and market hogs.  Feeder calves and breed animals do not need to be tagged.

May 7, 2016- New Castle County- Newark- Cook’s Farm- 9:00am- 11:00 am

May 7, 2016- Sussex County- Georgetown REC- 9:00 am-11:00 am**

May 14 2016- Kent County- DSF- 9:00 am- 11:00 am

May 20, 2016- Kent County- DSF- 6:00 pm- 9:00 pm- Tagging for Jackpot participants

May 24, 2016- FINAL TAGGING DATE- DSF- 5:00 pm- 8:00 pm

**Sussex County does not have the ability to weigh steers 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 2

The Kent County 4-H Livestock Advisory Committee is hosting its 19th Jackpot Show on May 21, 2016 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 2 or entry fees double.


NCC Hosts 4-H/FFA Livestock Classic- ENTRY DEADLINE MAY 13- 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 4, 2016 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 13.


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. 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.

Beginners who participate in the online module will receive a one year certification. Intermediate and senior youth, depending on their age at the time of completing the course and if they pass the exam, could receive a three year certification, or certification lasting until they age out of their division if it’s less than three years, and move into the next age division. If an intermediate or senior youth member does not pass their exam online, they will receive a one year certification.  For more information and to complete your certification online, please visit

The final PQA class training date remains:

June 6, 2016- 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 5, 2016- Sussex PQA Open Testing- Carvel Center- 4:00 pm-6:00 pm

May 10, 2016- NCC PQA Open Testing- New Castle County Extension office- 4:00 pm-6:00 pm

June 9, 2016- Kent County PQA Open Testing- Kent County Extension Office- 4:00pm-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. Please contact Susan Garey if you have any questions or concerns in regards to PQA certification needs.


Dairy Leasing Agreements Due to County Offices May 2 

2016 Delaware Youth Dairy Leasing Agreements must be turned in to county offices for county agent signatures or to Susan Garey by May 2.  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 2

The 2016 National 4-H Dairy Conference is September 25-28, 2016 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 2.


Final Delaware Junior Dairy Futurity Payment Due May 2

The third payment for futurity animals entered for the 2016 Delaware Junior Dairy Futurity is due May 2 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 2, 2016.  For more information please consult the 2016 entry form posted on the State 4-H animal science page at or email Charmayne Busker



2016 Delaware 4-H Horse of the Year Winner Named

Jointly sponsored by the Delaware 4-H Horse Advisory Committee and the Peter Stone Model Horse Company, the Horse of the Year contest offered 4-H members the opportunity to nominate a horse or pony as the Delaware 4-H Horse of the Year.  Participants were required to submit an essay of 500-1000 words on the topic of, “If Your Horse was a Superhero, Who Would it be and Why?” along with 4 photographs of the nominated horse or pony.  Essays were scored based on the ability to answer the topic, the emotional impact and meeting the essay requirements by a panel of 6 judges with equine backgrounds and experience as 4-H volunteers.  Nominators were not required to own the horses or ponies entered.

The 2016 winner of the Delaware 4-H Horse of the Year is Ms. Ashley Tilghman, age 14 of Dover, Delaware who nominate her 7 year old grey Thoroughbred named WaChacha.  Ashley is a member of the Mane Squad 4-H Club.  In her essay, Ashley wrote about how Chacha has the qualities of Wonder Woman; agile, lots of endurance, quick reflexes, very intelligent, honest and beautiful.  She compared Wonder Woman learning to live amongst us and being a “normal” human being to Chacha adapting all that she knew from racing in order to become a show horse.

Ashley will be presented with a custom made and custom painted model of her horse WaChacha at the Kent County 4-H Achievement banquet in October, generously created and donated by Peter Stone Model Horses.  For more information on the Stone Model horse company, please visit: 

The announcement and essay guidelines for the 2017 Delaware 4-H Horse of the year contest will be available in October with an entry deadline of November 15, 2016.  For more information on how to enter, please visit the Delaware 4-H Animal Science web page at


Free eXtension Recorded Webinar for Viewing- Spring Cleaning: Getting Your Horse Ready for the Show Season 

The webinar focuses on current vaccination strategies, nutritional management, muscle conditioning, and other health considerations to ensure your horse keeps healthy during the most demanding time of the year: Spring, Summer and Fall.


2016 4-H Horse Judging Contest at the Delaware State Fair 

The two performance classes in the 4-H Horse Judging Contest this summer at the Delaware State Fair will be Western Pleasure and Reining.  The Reining Pattern will be provided to contestants via your county extension office in advance of the contest and by June 15th.  Participants may bring the pattern with them to the contest.


51st State 4-H Horse Show at the Delaware State Fair

The 51st State 4-H Horse will be held on July 29, 2016 in the Quillen Arena at the Delaware State Fair.  The show program, with complete rules and a class list, can be found on the State 4-H Animal Science page at  4-H’ers must have been enrolled in the Delaware 4-H program by March 1 in order to participate in the show.  Ship-ins for the day are permitted and all horse must have proof of a negative Coggins test and a certificate of vaccination for Equine Influenza and EHV in the past 180 days to show.  Class entries are made the morning of the show in the Quillen Arena office.