4-H Madison Dairy Project

— Written By

Interested in learning more about livestock? Join us for the 4-H Madison Dairy Project to learn more about calves. This project will allow youth to get hands on experience with gentle calves while learning about their life cycle, animal care, the dairy industry, and preparing for a show. Children ages 8-18 are able to participate in the project. There are only TWELVE spots available, so please sign up ASAP. Registration will close August 1st.

This free project is sponsored a local Madison County farmer, Matthew Cody with Lyndel Farms. Each calf is approximately 4-5 months old and will be halter broken at the end of this project. The calves will be housed behind the animal shelter in Marshall, so no barn, pasture, or facilities at home will be required. Twice a week we will visit the calves to practice and a care schedule will be made for each child to take a turn caring for the calves on non-practice days. Each calf will be assigned at least two children to work with it, so encourage a friend to sign up with you!

Participants must attend at least one practice each week. The two practice days are Tuesdays 3:30-5 p.m. and Thursday 3:30-5 p.m beginning on August 13th and ending on September 28th.

Practice Schedule Dates:

  • August 13 – Mandatory for participate and parent/guardian
  • August 15
  • August 20
  • August 22
  • August 27
  • August 29
  • September  3
  • September 5
  • September 10
  • September 12
  • September 17
  • September 19
  • September 24
  • September 26
  • September 28 – Mandatory attendance at theMadison County Fair

The goal of this project is for each child to participate in the Madison County Fair in showmanship with their calf on Saturday September 28th, so attendance on this date is mandatory. Participants and parents/guardians are also required to attend the first practice August 13th.

Children are expected to attend practices in appropriate clothing such as work jeans and boots/tennis shoes. There will be muddy days along with the sunny and hot days, so please plan accordingly. This is NOT an easy project, but it is incredibly rewarding to watch a child lead their calf through the show ring all by themselves after just 7 short weeks. Our goal is to create a confident child who can do all these things themselves.

If you do not have annual 4-H enrollment forms on file at the Madison Extension office, you will also be asked to complete those online for insurance purposes.

For more information and to sign up please call Rebecca Bradley at 828-649-2411 or email at rebecca_bradley@ncsu.educhildren leading a cow