The Livestock Skillathon is open to enrolled members of Alabama 4-H. Each Alabama county may enter a team in each of the following age divisions:
- Junior Division: 4-H members who are between 9 and 11 years old before January 1.
- Intermediate Division: 4-H members who are 12 or 13 years old before January 1.
- Senior Division: 4-H members who are between 14 and 18 years old before January 1.
A team may consist of up to four members, but only the top three individual overall scores will be included. Counties with more than four contestants in a particular age division may have multiple teams, but the number of contestants per team may not exceed four. Teams consisting of three members will not have an alternate and all members’ scores will count toward individual and team awards.
All contestants will report promptly to the Skillathon testing location. Contestants will be allowed 15 minutes to complete each of the ten individual competition classes. Senior teams will be allowed 20 minutes to complete team activities.
Livestock Skillathon Rules and Examples
For questions about accessibility or to request accommodations, contact Extension Communications and Marketing at 334-844-5696 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
4-H Livestock Skillathon Resources
These references will help you in preparing for the 4-H Livestock Skillathon Contest that involves beef, sheep, meat goat, and swine. Note that actual references may deviate from this list in an effort to keep current with a rapidly changing livestock industry.
No endorsement of non–4-H resources is granted or implied by 4-H. Neither Alabama Extension nor 4-H is not responsible for the information found in these resources nor do they endorse them or their content.
Handbooks Available for Purchase
- 4H 134R Swine Resource Handbook for Market and Breeding Projects–The Ohio State University
- 4H 194R Sheep Resource Handbook for Market and Breeding Projects–The Ohio State University
- 4H 117R Beef Resource Handbook for Market and Breeding Projects–The Ohio State University
- 4H 135R Goat Resource Handbook–The Ohio State University
- Shop 4-H Materials–https://shop4-h.org/
- Swine Curriculum Books–https://shop4-h.org/pages/search-results-page?q=Swine+curriculum
- Beef Curriculum Books–https://shop4-h.org/ pages/search-results-page?q=Beef+curriculum
- Sheep Curriculum Books–https://shop4-h.org/pages/search-results-page?q=sheep+curriculum
- Meat Goat Curriculum Books–https://shop4-h.org/pages/search-results-page?q=Meat+goat+curriculum
- Pork Industry Handbook–http://www.thepress.purdue.edu/titles/format/9780982827222
- University of Kentucky 4-H and Youth Livestock Project Resources–http://afs.ca.uky.edu/4h-youth/4-h-and-youth-livestock-projects
- University of Kentucky 4-H Livestock Skillathon Resources–http://afs.ca.uky.edu/4h-youth/meat-animal/livestock-skillathon
- NC State Extension Meat Goat Resources–https://youthlivestock.ces.ncsu.edu/youthlivestock-resources/youthlivestock-meat-goats/
- NC State Extension Beef Resources–https://youthlivestock.ces.ncsu.edu/youthlivestock-resources/youthlivestock-beef/
- NC State Extension Sheep Resources–https://youthlivestock.ces.ncsu.edu/youthlivestock-resources/youthlivestock-sheep/
- NC State Extension Swine Resources–https://youthlivestock.ces.ncsu.edu/youthlivestock-resources/youthlivestock-swine/
Beef Cattle Handbooks
- Iowa State University Beef Cattle Handbook–https:// www.iowabeefcenter.org/beefcattlehandbook.html
- USDA Beef Producers Guide–https://www.climatehubs.usda.gov/sites/default/files/Beef %20Producers%20Guide_Alabama.pdf
- Alabama Beef Cattle Pocket Guide–https://ssl. acesag.auburn.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1323/index2. tmpl
Sheep Production Handbooks
- Sheep 101–http://www.sheep101.info/
- Sheep 201–http://www.sheep101.info/201/
- Alabama Small Ruminant Pocket Guide– http://counties.agrilife.org/williamson/files/2011/ 07/goat_handbook_alabama_1.pdf
National Pork Board Youth Materials
- Youth PQA Plus Handbook–https://texaspork.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Youth_PQA_ Handbook.pdf
- Quick Facts–The Pork Industry at A Glance – https://porkgateway.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/quick-facts-book1.pdf
- Iowa State University PQA–https://www.ipic. iastate.edu/PQAPlus.html
Current Event References
A small percentage of questions will be based on current events in the beef, sheep, meat goat, and swine industries. Studying from these may appear to be overwhelming; keep these points in mind. Think about major issues that have affected the livestock industry in many ways such as animal diseases, exports, animal ID, environmental issues, and regulatory changes.
For items 5 to 12, the issues from the preceding year will be used. For example, if the state qualifying contest is in 2022, then the issues from 2021 will be used.
The following online resources may be used to develop these questions:
- American Sheep Industry Association–https://www.sheepusa.org/
- National Cattlemen’s Beef Association–https://www.ncba.org/
- National Pork Board Website–https://www.pork.org/
- North American Meat Institute–https://www.meatinstitute.org/
- Pork Business (questions related to current industry issues, January to December of preceding year)– https://www.porkbusiness.com/
- Beef Magazine (questions related to current industry issues, January to December of preceding year)– https://www.beefmagazine.com/
- National Hog Farmer (questions related to current industry issues, January to December of preceding year)–https://www.nationalhogfarmer.com/
- Meating Place Website (an online community for red meat and poultry processors in North America; questions related to current industry issues, January to December of preceding year)–https://www. meatingplace.com/
- Drovers Cattle Network (questions related to current industry issues, January to December of preceding year)–https://www.drovers.com/
- Purdue Animal Science Beef Blog (questions related to current industry issues, January to December of preceding year)–https://purduephil.wordpress.com/
- American Boer Goat Association (questions related to current industry issues, January to December of preceding year)–https://abga.org/
- Alabama Cattlemen’s Magazine (preceding year’s issue)
Brigid McCrea, Extension Specialist, Auburn University; Jason P’Pool, Extension Specialist, Auburn University.
Revised September 2017, Livestock Skillathon Rules and Examples, 4HYD-2280
Brigid McCrea, Extension Specialist, Auburn University.
Revised August 2021, 4-H Livestock Skillathon Resources, 4HYD-2281